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Authentic Turkish Souvenirs: Top 10 to Buy in Türkiye

ramblingtravel
February 24
6 min read
Explore the diverse landscapes and cultural heritage of Turkey in this captivating image showcasing iconic landmarks and natural beauty; Authentic Turkish Souvenirs
Table of Contents

    Turkey is teeming with bazaars selling an array of factory-made and handmade goods, making souvenir shopping a vibrant experience. Bazaars can be bustling and intimidating, but approaching them with a purpose helps navigate through language barriers and large crowds. Haggling is an integral part of Turkish culture, so be prepared to negotiate prices in markets, bazaars, and some shops. If you’re touring with a local guide, their assistance can be invaluable. Explore the list below for authentic Turkish souvenirs to consider when visiting Turkey.

    Lokum

    One of the most popular souvenirs is Turkish Delight, which is a chewy, gummy-like treat that is flavored with various fruits, nuts, and spices. Many stores will sell packages of this with different combinations at a range of prices. The difficulty is finding authentic brands! For this, you will need to ask a local or guide depending on where you’re visiting in the country. Before purchasing, make sure to check the expiration dates! Not all of the shop owners are honest and will still stack expired Turkish delight on the shelves.

    Carpets

    One of the most popular products made in Türkiye and a product that the country is world-known for. While they’re not a cheap souvenir to bring back home, they’re an investment to last decades that also help preserve this trade of Turkish culture. When exploring the markets and bazaars, it is important to note that the majority are not handmade. If you’re looking for a truly authentic Turkish carpet, you will need to do your research, ask a guide or local, and most likely visit an independent shop. The authentic producers will offer to ship it directly to your home without additional cost.

    Explore the diverse landscapes and cultural heritage of Turkey in this captivating image showcasing iconic landmarks and natural beauty.

    Baklava

    Another perfect and easy gift to bring back whether you’re traveling with checked luggage or carry-on only! This sweet pastry is made from layers of filo dough, a variety of nuts, and honey. It is popular from the influence of the Ottoman Empire that many locals enjoy it as a dessert or as a pastry with their tea. Similar to Turkish delight, stores will sell pre-packaged boxes of this or you can get the fresh handmade ones packaged for flight.

    Ceramics

    Different cities and regions of the country have their historic techniques for producing and designing pottery. The craft dates back to the 8th century, growing and spreading from the impact of the Silk Road. The patterns of the pottery and mosaic lamps became so popular, that they’re inside many mosques. Similar to the carpets, some smaller authentic shops will ship the larger and larger quantities to your home at no additional cost so you don’t have to worry about carrying them.

    Explore the diverse landscapes and cultural heritage of Turkey in this captivating image showcasing iconic landmarks and natural beauty; Authentic Turkish Souvenirs

    Evil Eye

    Everywhere you visit in Türkiye, you will see the Evil Eye. Traditionally, the Evil Eye is a dark blue background with a teardrop-shaped white, a layer of light blue, and then the black eye. However, today you can buy a variety of colors and shapes of the Evil Eye. This ancient talisman was originally used in Turkish culture to ward off bad luck and evil spirits and to reflect the bad energy someone put towards you back to them. The most popular item is the hanging glass version of the Evil Eye, but you can basically purchase it on every item or as anything these days.

    Fruit Wine

    Exactly as they sound… Türkiye is famous for its different fruit wines that can be drunk on their own or as a pairing with dessert. The most popular are black mulberry, strawberry, and cherry, but there are many different ones to choose from! The best fruit wine in Türkiye comes from the small town of Sirince, a city in the mountains near Selcuk and Ephesus. Be sure to try the wine before tasting as fruit wine is extremely sweet and is more for sweet wine fans.

    Raki

    Türkiye’s national alcoholic drink! An anise-flavored liquor that is similar to the Greek Ouzo and the Serbian Rakije. One of the main differences in the Turkish enjoyment of the drink is people will put ice cubes or a small amount of water, turn the raki white, and lessen the strength of the drink, which is quite strong. Even locals will caution against having more than one or mixing the liquor with other drinks so that will tell you something. Bottles can be purchased at souvenir shops, but usually at a large marked-up price. To avoid this, purchase raki from either a grocery store or a liquor store.

    Cotton Goods

    Türkiye is known for its cotton textile, made for high-quality clothing, kitchen towels, or their famous Hamman towels. The authentic goods will be made out of 100% cotton for them to be lightweight and dry quickly, which means that they’re a more expensive purchase. However, you can be confident of their quality and longevity. The south of Türkiye is especially known for its cotton textile goods.

    Explore the diverse landscapes and cultural heritage of Turkey in this captivating image showcasing iconic landmarks and natural beauty; Authentic Turkish Souvenirs

    Coffee

    Turkish coffee is an extremely important part of Turkish culture and is a tradition dating back to the Ottoman Empire. Locals are very serious about their coffee-making and consumption process. In order to make the coffee as strong as it is, it is made in a special copper pot called a cezve, which also makes for a great souvenir. Turkish coffee cups will have a residue of grounds at the bottom which have been used historically for telling people’s futures. Grounds for the coffee can be purchased at almost any market or store.

    Spices

    The Silk Road helped facilitate the exchange and spread of Turkish spices that helped develop the delicious Turkish dishes today. For those who love cooking and experimenting with spices in the kitchen, Türkiye is a great place to purchase large quantities of unique spices at a fraction of the cost. Another benefit is that they don’t spoil, are easy to fit in checked luggage and carry-ons, and are lightweight. The most popular spices to buy in Türkiye are sumac, cinnamon, and Aleppo pepper. While you can purchase spices at many stores, bazaars, and markets

    Exploring Türkiye is not just a journey through its breathtaking landscapes and historical marvels, but also an immersion into its vibrant markets and bazaars, offering an array of authentic Turkish souvenirs. From Lokum to handwoven carpets, each item tells a story, inviting you to take a piece of Türkiye’s rich cultural heritage home with you. These souvenirs are not merely tokens; they are gateways to cherished memories and a deeper understanding of Türkiye’s diverse traditions. Let these authentic Turkish souvenirs serve as timeless reminders of your unforgettable visit to Türkiye.

    Planning a visit to Türkiye? Visit my complete travel guide!

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