Unlike the huge malls and stores that can be found across the Turkish regions, historical and antique markets may be found in certain cities, particularly Istanbul, exhibiting antiques and old objects that were part of a person’s life in a previous historical era. Decorative chandeliers, glassware, brass, ceramics, ornaments, decorations, musical instruments, radios, radio receivers, typewriters, sewing machines, carpets, antique watches in Istanbul, and rare coins may be found in antique markets. It also has rare books, manuscripts, and papers, swords, spears, and even cannons, as well as hundreds of other objects, some of which were revolutionary at the time, such as typewriters, radios, and even musical instruments.
These markets are attracting a variety of groups and visitors; some come to learn about the past through the details that these markets tell, and others come because they find in them a response to the state of nostalgia for the past that they feel, as they return their holders to the past and the era that they represent.
Feriköy Antique Market
Ferikoy market, also one of Istanbul’s oldest and most significant antique markets, is situated in Sisli and includes the rarest antique treasures, and its presence in this region is regarded a shrine for certain rich families that reside in the Sisli neighborhood and exhibit everything in this market. It is mainly frequented by a large number of clients, mostly elderly individuals who have lived during times when such items were prevalent.
Customers who believe stories about rare artifacts and the ownership of a historical figure or renowned family prefer to purchase them, but many do not trust them until they see a piece of proof proving the masterpiece in the hands of that famous person or family.
Horhor Antique Market
The Horhor Market, located in Aksaray in the Fatih district, in the center of historical Istanbul, is one of the most famous and largest permanent antique markets, and it contains about 214 shops, all specialized in selling antiques, and many of the antiques that are sold carry the old Ottoman style. The market also includes European antiques brought in by merchants from outside Turkey, and it is regarded as one of the most significant marketplaces in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. In certain instances, merchants in this market conduct auctions for some valuable antique items, the price of which is decided by the rivalry among speculators and their desire to buy these antiques.
Balat Antique Bazaar
Balat District Auction is one of the most famous weekly auctions, and it is held in the Balat district, the most famous historical district in central Istanbul in the Golden Horn area, and it holds three weekly auctions to display valuable and ancient artifacts, some of which were used during the Ottoman Empire, and these artifacts have succeeded in converting dozens of houses into museums.
The auction is typically opened by the seller explaining the historical value of the antiques offered, followed by the seller setting an initial price for them, and the competition for the pieces continues until it reaches the price decided by the competitors and antiques hunters, who see that the older the objects, the more valuable they are. This auction attracts hundreds of visitors who sometimes discover their goods at reasonable and surprising rates. In the Balat neighborhood, an evening market begins at 3 p.m. to sell antiques directly, rather than via an auction.
You may also go to Grand Bazaar or Spice Bazaar to discover some important historical items. If you know where to go and what to buy, historical shopping in Istanbul can be a lot of fun. Bring plenty of cash and luggage with you when you go historical shopping in Istanbul!