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affordable carpets from turkey

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East London, South...
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affordable carpets from turkey

i am travelling to turkey in June and would love to bring back a carpet. after reading many blogs i realise that handmade carpets are probably out of my price range. i would like a carpet that looks turkish/ persian about 2.5m x 1.6m ( 2m). if it is not handmade and is pleasing to look at and i am not being overcharged ( charged for handmade when it is machinemade), i dont really mind. i would think the choice of designs are much more varied there than back home. please can anyone offer me advise. i will be staying in the grand bazaar area as well as taksim. we are also going to cappadocia and kusadasi. i am looking at spending about TL 500 - 1000 ( closer to TL 500). is that ridiculous?

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1. Re: affordable carpets from turkey

traveljunkie, Turkey is heaven for carpets, man or machine made. Unfortunately, there will not be much of a man made carpet in your price range for that size. The size you indicated is called "karyola" at the carpet shops and here is a good website of a major seller with karyola wool carpets hand made from different regions of Turkey with their prices: "www.halifuari.com/website/products/1/1/1/7/60".

You can definitely find machine made carpets within your budget but I do not think you come Turkey for that.

good luck,

enigma...

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2. Re: affordable carpets from turkey

Does anyone know if I will be able to find contemporary carpets? I am looking for modern and bold designs and would preferably want a hand-made carpet.

Am I being delusional as well?

How much does one expect to pay for a hand-made carpet? I've seen prices ranging from 1000 usd to 15k usd.

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3. Re: affordable carpets from turkey

Irwin, Hand made carpets are between 1,500 TL - 5,000 TL at the website above. Modern pattern carpets are almost exclusively machine made because they have simple patterns. Have a look. "http://www.saraycarpets.com/index.asp".

enigma...

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4. Re: affordable carpets from turkey

My advise is to AVOID GALERI SELCUK - where Minnet Bozedemir is everything you have heard about when it comes to devious carpet dealers. There is a showroom just outside the Grand Bazaar and a shop inside, and he has people from other shops primed to take you to his showroom if you can't find what you like at these other shops. Subsequent to buying a very overpriced carpet, and having it evaluated back at home in S.A, , I learned that just about every word from his lips was a lie. 50% off the original asking price was still not close to its real value and I was conned out of at least 600 Euros for a wool red carpet, 143 x 98cm. You should be able to find a small handwoven wool carpet (the dimensions of mine) in your upper price range.

Edited: 12:14 pm, June 01, 2012
Salmiyah, Kuwait
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5. Re: affordable carpets from turkey

I have traveled to Turkey many times, lived in Selcuk (Ephesus) for a year, and have many Turkish kilims and carpets purchased from dealers in Turkey. A kilim is flatwoven and can be silk, wool, cotton, or a blend. Carpets have pile or nap. There are many, many machine made carpets in Turkey, unfortunately, and many handmade carpets that come from China and other countries, but are made using the Turkish double knot. Many of the kilims that are promoted as being Turkish or from the Kurdish area in Eastern Turkey actually come from Afghanistan and Iran, even as far away as Moldova. But dealers will say they are Turkish.

If you have only 500-1000TL to spend, you can actually buy a handmade Turkish wool kilim with a simple pattern. Kilims from Anatolia use geometric patterns and are simple, not so expensive. Ask to see slitwoven, wool kilims. Any embroidered kilim or knotted kilim, or any kilim with needlework will cost more. But look closely at what you are buying. Touch it, look closely at both sides, look at the fringe and how it is knotted. Walk on it. Slitwoven kilims will have small holes you can see through. This is not a mistake. It is natural because of the slit knots. Something simply made, 3ftx5ft or smaller should not be so expensive. If a dealer quotes you a huge price for this kind of kilim, leave the store and look elsewhere.

If you are not interested in these kinds of inexpensive kilims, or want a carpet rather than a kilim, you can still find something handmade in that price range. Just be very firm with the dealer on your budget, because they will push your budget. They will say, 'Look, this is one is only 200TL more, or only 200 USD more.' Then you have to decide if you are willing to push your budget to get what you really want. This is the reality.

I think you will regret buying a machine made carpet in Turkey. Most dealers will not admit to any carpet or kilim being machine made anyway. They want everyone to believe that everything in their store is handmade IN TURKEY, not even handmade in another country. In my opinion, it is better to buy a small, simple, quality handmade piece than a machine made one. Dealers in Turkey will not admit to a rug being handmade I think.

I know much more about kilims than carpets as I prefer the flatwoven ones. But one other thing I will caution you about regarding carpets is that there are many handmade carpets that come from China in Turkey. I know from experience. I lived in Shanghai for 2 years and my Kurdish exboyfriend came to visit me twice. He is a carpet dealer in Selcuk (best to avoid him and his brother I'm afraid) and he bought several beautifully handmade 100% silk carpets in a shop down the street from my apartment. He paid about 125 USD for each and sold them as handmade in Turkey for a minimum of 800USD each, some for much more than that. Ironically, he sold many of them to Chinese tourists! I was there and I saw it and I didn't like what I saw. I was very disappointed when he bought Chinese carpets during his visit because at that point I knew he was not honest in business.

They also have carpets made from mercerized cotton that feel silky soft to the touch, and they sell them as silk-on-cotton and charge a lot of money. Real silk will be much finer and you can tell by looking specifically at the knots on the back and the fringe. When you put the two side-by-side, you can tell the difference. Don't buy mercerized cotton. It is rubbish and will wear quickly and get dirty quickly. Better to buy wool since silk seems out of the question on your budget.

Just stand firm when you go shopping and look around. Don't buy from the first place you visit. And definitely avoid my ex and his brother in Selcuk. They are not honest and will really, really push you to push your budget. They are two Kurdish brothers on the main shopping street in Selcuk, between Garanti Bank and a restaurant I will also not name. I will not mention their names, but everyone knows them. They also have a textile shop across from their carpet shop. They'll tell you all of that stuff is also handmade in Turkey, but most of it is made in India by machine except for the suzanis. For suzanis, they are actually pretty honest as those are handmade and not cheap, although not all from Turkey.

Do your research before going carpet shopping. Also, avoid buying the Grand Bazaar, but that is just my personal opinion. Prices are even higher in the Grand Bazaar and I had a horrible experience at ABC Carpets near Gate 1. Awful. The owner is Volkan. Unfortunately, not an honest dealer either.

I found rugs to be much cheaper in Cappadocia than in Istanbul and Selcuk, and I found beautiful rugs there, but Istanbul of course, wil have the biggest selection. I agree with reneewebb. You can find a small, handwoven wool carpet or kilim in your price range.

I know where you can also find gorgeous handmade Turkish towels in Istanbul if you are interested. Just contact me if you want to know about the shop and the owner.

Hope this helps. Good luck in your search. My Turkish kilims are my most prized possessions, partly because of the work that went into buying them!

East London, South...
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6. Re: affordable carpets from turkey

thanks for all that info. appreciate it. i am off to turkey next week. any info you can give on lanterns, ceramics and other items of interest would be appreciated. the towns i am visiting other than istanbul are cappaddocia, pumakkale, kusadasi, antalya, cannakkale. i think i will not really waste time looking for a carpet as i dont think i have enough time or money as i know these salesmen take up quite a chunk of my shopping time and i would probably not even buy anything.

many thanks

Salmiyah, Kuwait
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7. Re: affordable carpets from turkey

You will find lanterns and lamps galore in Istanbul, Kusadasi, and Cappadocia. My advice is to wait and buy your lamp/lantern in whatever city you are in last and then carry it on the airplane with you. Shipping a breakable item is very expensive and not advised, no matter how well they pack it. Like carpets, your biggest selection will be in Istanbul, and because of a lot of competition, they are cheaper than the ones I looked at in Selcuk when I was offered the 'friendly discount'. Same with ceramics. They will be cheaper in Istanbul where there is a lot of competition. Be aware that Iznik ceramics are made from quartz and are expensive everywhere, for good reason. They are the highest quality.

I have a friend in Arasta Bazaar who sells Turkish towels. Her long-time boyfriend and business partner sells ceramics, but I am not sure of the location of his shop. I believe it is still in Arasta Bazaar, the small bazaar beside the Blue Mosque. Find Jennifer's Hamam - she has two shops in Arasta, both marked by a Canadian flag. She's Canadian and sell gorgeous handmade Turkish towels of her own design. Even if you don't want towels, go ask her about ceramics as she has an excellent knowledge of quality, etc.

Jennifer's Hamam is highly rated on tripadvisor. Check it out. Her towels are truly unique and make great souvenirs. Her website is www.jennifershamam.com. You can learn more about how she got into selling towels from her website.

East London, South...
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8. Re: affordable carpets from turkey

many thanks. i will definitely make a turn past her shop. i have made a time to visit the arasta bazaar and will look out for her.

thanks

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9. Re: affordable carpets from turkey

Avoid Voltan Parmaksiz (also known as Ali) of ABC Carpets. He is the most unscrupulous liar and con artist you will ever meet. Carpets I got were supposed to be silk on silk but a Turkish expert has identified them as cotton with silk mixed in. He and his offsider deliberately targe Aussies and then rip them off. DO NOT DEAL WITH HIM!!!!

Salmiyah, Kuwait
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10. Re: affordable carpets from turkey

I agree completely with aussietraveller's previous comment. I know Volkan as well. His wife is Australian. Do not do business with him. ABC Carpets is the first shop on the right as you enter Gate 1 in the Grand Bazaar. He used to also have a smaller shop in Sultanahmet, but I don't know if it is still there.