Sunday's Service... Çalış Market, Turkey!
Çalış's Sunday market is a centre of activity for locals and tourists alike. Bazaar, meaning market brings a whole host of delights into one tented area. I've been to this market every year for the last eleven years, so I should know how to secure a bargain! Are you ready to barter for the best price?! Don't let your head go, these traders can always give a cheaper price! Clocking newbies!
Turkey produces the freshest fruit and vegetables I have ever seen, my opinion completely but our supermarkets in England cannot compare to the produce that has been captured to the right. Each Sunday the same top quality fruit and vegetables can be seen, displayed in such a manner it's almost like looking at a rainbow. So, there's no excuse not to buy some beautiful peaches or even some greens for the perfect Sunday roast dinner. I always like to pick up a few fresh goods such as; some figs and pomegranates because there are no pesticides used to cultivate these healthy treats! I would definitely say that a visit to Çalış's Sunday market makes or breaks ones holiday experience. Being a faithful holidaymaker to Turkey, more specifically the Çalış Beach area means I should know how the heat beats down on the tented areas of the market. If you can't stand the heat, arrive early on! Tourists, fresh off the plane!
If I have ever missed anything from Sunday market in Çalış, I don't stress because there's another market identical to Çalış's in the nearby city of Fethiye. I take the local bus to reach the market where I can find the same delights, if not more! There's all this talk in England that our crops are laced with chemicals that lessen the quality if the fruit and vegetables that we produce but in Turkey its all natural, just look at the size of the fruit captured in the image above. Price wise its criminally cheap to buy a few peaches and apples for that fruit bowl, I always have because the smoothies they help to make taste divine. Going to Çalış Market in the summer months is a chore but its a great way to spend the morning before I return to the pool with my purchases. It's all about wrapping things up this holiday because I didn't blog the last time I visited Çalış in 2010. I have a lot of catching up to do. Oh, did I mention those figs are dangerously good? Shopping for fruit won't ever be the same again! No way!
Çalış Sunday market always has a number of makeshift Kebab and Gözleme restaurants for all to enjoy. Over the years I have been very adventurous with my food, trying dishes that would have probably made me sick! The heat of the day always makes me want to stop for an ice cold drink and even a Kebab or Borek! Talking about out of the ordinary foods; I once tried Kokoreç, which happens to Lambs Intestines served in a half bread pitta with salad. I must admit I really enjoyed the taste of the Kokoreç. My family thought I was crazy that I actually enjoyed that alternative Turkish snack, I loved it! Hands down I can't beat a chicken half bread, or served with the same but as a wrap! Looking for something sweeter, I love to enjoy a honey and banana filled Turkish pancake. Known as a Gözleme, that Turkish style pancake wrap can be filled with chocolate and other savour fillings are available. There's a lot to enjoy!
Keeping hydrating at the market during the height of the summer season is a must, I prefer to replace fizzy drinks with a glass or carton of Ayran. Ayran is a salty yoghurt drink that hydrates just as good like water but is my favourite drink in Turkey. My family think I'm weird choosing to drink it because it does have an acquired taste but it goes perfectly with a traditional Turkish chicken Kebab or even better with something spicy. Me and my family have our preferred make-shift market cafe stop, the same Kebab man opens his stall at both the Fethiye and Çalış markets. The market gets hot and it makes me mad sometimes so I find it calming to take fifteen minutes to chow down on some tasty food, better still its great people watching because its a hoot tell which people had just stepped off the plane at Dalaman. Flashing back to Bilston Market I don't think I would be able to get the food from Çalış Market ever so I just enjoy it more each time I get the chance to visit. I just love it!
Forget Primark and the other high street brands because Çalış's Sunday market has everything that I need. From Nike trainers to Ralph Lauren shirts, everything is all genuine if you really do believe so! This is Turkey, it's easy to find a 'genuine' fake garment that looks pretty convincing. I suppose the variety of items that are on sale rival any store in the United Kingdom or wherever else in the developed world. Over the years I have secured a series of bargains from Prada look leather shoes and A&F styled t-shirts, read between the lines because there is no way I would ever be able to afford the real deal! Well not just yet! This year everyone has been on a new hype, grab yourself a pair of Beats headphones for £15.00! I will only buy a pair of Louis Vuitton leather shoes this year. The leather shoes genuinely last. Over the last eleven years the layout hasn't changed much so I know what I'm looking for. No stressing, barter your best price!
The quality of the products on sale is surprisingly high, well Topshop have a string of factories in Turkey so I guess the proof is in the clothing? I have never been fooled by the designs, it has been quite unfortunate to see unknowing tourists fall for the offers, they weren't aware. We all have to stay ready! Like many high street fashion retailers they make clothes in Turkey for a cut price so I might well find the same clothes in my local favourite stores like H&M or Primark? The deals are best when bartered for, stand your ground and suggest a fair price in a firm manner if not just walk away and it sometimes work for you that way. Some stalls are like jumble sales with mounds of clothes piled tall, the key is to look at what you want to because under the tents it gets bloody hot during the midday sun in July and August! Telling the truth, I bought a Fitch t-shirt from the market a several years ago that lasted me a good while, I always look for a top quality 'genuine' fake product! Oh, Turkey!
Where's the heck is my Turkish Delight? Çalış's Sunday market has a wide selection of fresh Turkish Delight to buy. I really like Turkish Delight but have passed the hype of buying copious amount like I did during my first summers in Turkey. With all this talk of Turkish Delight I might go to Çalış market this Sunday to buy something sweet! The sweets and delights are all waiting to be sampled, I've been to this type of market so many I don't bother asking for a sample as I've had my fill already over the years. It's not just about Turkish Delight, I love the wide array of nuts, seeds and dried fruits that are sold at the weekly Sunday Çalış market. Once the allure of Turkish Delight waned, I started to buy more nuts and dried fruits. The tourists go wild for the different flavours, needless to say I prefer coconut and sesame Turkish Delight. Yes, Turkish Tea is always a pleaser for the tourists, I prefer shop bought Türk Çayi Pazar çok tatlı!
The cheese van always has been running away from it, the cheese isn't like ASDA or Tesco products, there's an acquired taste and smell to keep in mind. Plenty of household goods can be found each Sunday, for my parents it was a handy thing to buy things for the house that we needed if something had been broken. Undoubtedly, Çalış Sunday market is a must visit, for me its definitely a necessary evil for all the best bits can sometimes turn sour when it gets packed out with rude expats and tourists but that's life. Nobody is perfect but the heat gets to us all and the market can get quite packed. If you're staying in the Çalış Beach area then get yourselves down to the market at least once! Even if you don't buy a cheap t-shirt or eat a delicious Kebab its always an experience! I need to go back for some Kokoreç and an ice cold carton of Ayran! Remember if you miss Çalış Market on the Sunday there's Fethiye on a Tuesday! I'm off to find a bargain and a bite to eat at the market!
I Love Kokoreç & Ayran!