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Turkey September 2009: A Report...

Dear friends and family,

{News on our 32nd annual Pre-Christmas Sale at the end of this newsletter.}


Arrived in Turkey a week after Ramadan. The post-fasting parties were over, the streets were swept, and the crowds which usually make a short walk through Sultan Ahmet impossible, were absent. I have had taxi drivers refuse to drive through the area during Ramadan.

Tourists are returning. After Ramadan, restaurants seemed happy for regular customers, and the general mood in Istanbul was one of polite expectation.

It's been almost 10 years since I've seen so many foreign tourists with tour guides and buses crowding Nurasmania Cadessa - the main up-scale shopping street leading into the covered bazaar.

In the bazaar itself, merchants were more busy than I've seen in many months. So, it looks like it's coming back. Or, at least, it does have that feeling.

Went book shopping in the publishers district for a Turkish translation of a yoga book (for a present) and actually found the small-press publisher, and bought 3 copies...of course they gave me a discount after I told them I was a carpet dealer.

Turkish Lira:

The dollar is still down, and many dealers are now quoting their prices in Euros. The Turkish Lira seems to be holding it's own against the dollar... it's been at least a year where it's been under 1.5 T.L. to the U.S. dollar.

I am happy to report that our friends and family are still quoting me their prices in dollars, and that's without a price increase. We all wonder just how long they can afford to do this, but we are all very happy they are honoring our 30 plus years relationship. Thanks everyone.


Khorasani Kebab Restaurant was as good as ever - and it's so close to the Hali Hotel. Also, had fabulous fresh fish from the Black Sea at the lunch restaurant Mercan Balik Lokantasi (just outside of the Bazaar).

This coming May I look forward to comparing these to both Hamdi (pistachio kufta) and Gellik (fresh fish).

Was also introduced to a new kufta (ground meat) restaurant - just opened - that features Kayseri grills. It's called Inciralti Kebab ve Pide Salonu and is in Sultanahmet... their grilled kofta is filled with herbs and spices and is 'melt in your mouth'. Please note - it is much more difficult to make your kofta tasty with herbs - rather than with spices. And they do it wonderfully.

Rugs and Textiles:

Of course the main reason I travel to Turkey are their rugs and textiles. This trip was no exception to the rule - I found all that I was looking for and more - and all at wonderful prices.

In Istanbul there was a Uzbek woman's wedding belt - decorated with small mirrors with many blue beads and dangles.

Also found a wonderful Yomud carpet saddle cover - 19th century and excellent condition. Did I say it was beautiful?

Also found some yummy Caucasian carpets and Anatolian kilims. It was a great time to be picking.

In Konya there were more Uzbek small pieces, and tons of great kilims and yastik faces. Konya remains the prime place to acquire mid-aged pieces of high artistic merit and at great prices.

Ali Babas Firin Kebab is still FABULOUS! Not at all fancy, just delicious. My favorite in Konya.

So, although this trip wasn't the largest haul we've ever made, it was filled with wonderful finds (including a Shah Miran carpet from Karabaugh).

Upcoming Sale:

Our Traditional Pre-Christmas Sale is upcoming, and most of our newest treasures will be included. Remember - 50% off general stock... starting Friday, November 27th... that's 50% Off!

As an extra bonus, our customers - meaning you - will have a three day preview: Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday... November 23,24 & 25... that's before the advertised sale begins.

So hurry on in. The tea is hot and the stories continue.

Looking forward to sharing some "tea and see".

All best, Saul & the Sun Bow Crew

October 19, 2009


Sun Bow Trading Company
By Appointment Outfitting Downtown Charlottesville since 1978.
(434) 293 8821

  Right off the Mall
The South Street Bed & Breakfast
The South Street Brewery
Directly behind
The Farmers' Market