Turkey is a shopping heaven, if you stick to things produced here. Imported goods costs roughly the same as it does back home. Pirate copies abound and you can usually haggle down the price, unless there is a price tag somewhere, in which case haggling is a no go.
Sometimes you will be offered a better price if you pay in any of the well-known European currencies, the reason being the inflation in Turkey.
Some brands, like Levi´s, Benetton and Quicksilver, are produced on licence in Turkey, which means prices that are a little lower than those back home. There is a great variety of gold and silver jewellery, with some shops designing their own. Leather comes in many colours and qualities, and many shops have a resident tailor. It takes at the most two days to have a jacket or a pair of trousers made.
In the bazaars, the custom of haggling is alive and well, to the point of being considered a necessity. You will often find yourself invited to a cup of tea whilst doing business. You are not, however, obliged to buy anything. This is just part of the customary Turkish hospitality.
Shopping at the resort
In Side, there are small shops in the centre, in the old part of town and along the beach walk. You could also take the minibus to Manavgat where you will find a good selection of shops and markets. Goods made in Turkey is cheap, while imported goods costs roughly the same as back home. Pirate copies are common in the shops. You can usually haggle in the shops in Side, even if there is a price tag, but this is not the case in Manavgat, where price tags mean a fixed price. Some brands, like Levi´s, Benetton and Quicksilver, are produced on licence in Turkey, which means prices that are a little lower than those back home.
Gold object are sold in 14, 18 and 22 carat. 14 carat is the most common. The government has set a fixed price per gram on gold, and above that, you pay for the amount of work on each piece. This varies between different goldsmiths. Brilliant Jewellery, in central Side, has a good record.
Turks are honest, but you should nevertheless exercise a little caution when considering buying a carpet to bring home. Carpets sales have rocketed the last couple of years. These oriental carpets with their beautiful colours and patterns are the result of a centuries old tradition. Quality varies greatly – be careful.
Turkey grows a lot of cotton, and the cost of labour is low. This makes it easy to understand why cotton garments are so cheap, without compromising on quality.
The opticians in Turkey are skilled professionals, needing only a few days to produce glasses for all manner of visual impairments. Prices are generally lower than back home, both for ordinary glasses and sunglasses from well-known brands. We recommend Öga Optik, with two branches in Side, one of which is centrally located in the old part of town.
Leather can be bought at favourable prices and of good quality. Should you happen to come across your favourite jacket during your holiday, most shops can adjust it according to your fit if you wish. Just make sure you have plenty of time for measures and fittings. Denver Leder has several shops that can adjust your purchases according to your wishes.
In the province capital Antalya you will have plenty of opportunities to go shopping. From Side, it takes about an hour by bus, which costs around 8 lira. Terra City, in the Lara area, is one of the more modern and new shopping centres, with a wide range of branded shops in all price levels. In central Antalya you will find the newest shopping centre; Mark Antalya, with a range similar to that of Terra City, but within walking distance to the old parts of towns.
Deepo is located by the airport, a large outlet centre with lots of shops and restaurants. There is also a cinema, showing films in English.
Bazaars and markets
In Turkey, everyone goes to market, tourists as well as locals. The local women come rolling little carts which they quickly load with delicious fruit and fresh vegetables. To us, a market is mainly a place where we haggle on our purchases. The markets found in Side and Manavgat are not limited to fruit and veg – almost everything is on sale; clothes, shoes, spices, toys, films, music, and virtually everything else.
The Turks will do their purchases in a manner different to ours. For centuries, they have gone to the market to shop. It is usually the women going there, having the experience to find the best deal. They will taste the fruit before buying, and bargain with the farmers having come to sell their produce. The women will spend a lot of time at the market and will often buy large quantities. They use fruit and veg when in season to make preserves and jams from the fresh produce bought at the market. It is far cheaper to do this when compared to buying ready-made, considering that fruit and veg in season is extremely cheap. You can, for instance, buy a kilo of strawberries for 2-3 lira in season. The women will also preserve vegetables, with chillis and olives being the most common. They will harvest the olives, and then prepare and preserve them, eventually having enough to last them until the next season. It is not unusual to see women sitting on the balcony with a sack of olives to be cut and prepared for salting.
Markets in Side and Manavgat
The Monday market in Manavgat is the largest. It stretches 5-6 km, offering everything between heaven and earth. You will find it by the large mosque "Küliye". Take a dolmus to Manavgat dolmus station, then walk towards the four minarets. There is also a fruit and veg market in Manavgat, about 600 metres to the right after the big bridge.
In Manavgat there is also traditional market with fabrics, clothes, bags as well as fruit and veg. Get off the dolmus by PTT and walk back towards the traffic lights. Take left, walk about 500 metres, and you will have the market on your left.
A mix of old and new – textiles, clothes, shoes, bags and various produce. Every Saturday in Side, at the market place behind the large mosque. Start by the flag and walk inland, after about 500 metres you will find the market.