In the street bazaar along Çikrikçilar Yokusu, near Ulus Meydani, the strange sensation of being left alone permeates the air. In all of your travels around Turkey, you can bet that this is the one place you will not be accosted, hassled, harassed, or even approached. This might be due to the fact that this bazaar sees few foreign visitors. But even in the face of satin bedcovers, floor-length coats, and plastic shoes, a quiet stroll gazing at the local linens and essential items of daily life in Ankara is a lovely way to spend an afternoon.
At the end of Çikrikçilar Yokusu is Bakircilar Çarsisi, a street of local shops displaying a basic mix of handcrafted copper, kitchen, and hardware items. Heading left up the hill to the citadel gate is a street with a village feel and lined with spices, dried fruits, and nuts, all set out in bulk outside the shop entrances. There's also a good amount of wicker items and copper up this way, until you reach the gate of the citadel, where handicrafts give way to chintzy souvenirs.
Ankara has no shortage of modern shopping centers. Upscale shops like Burberry's, Beymen, Calvin Klein, and Polo can be found in the Karum Is Merkezi, the shopping mall near the Sheraton and Hilton hotels. For those looking for more ready-to-wear, step outside Karum Is Merkezi onto Tunali Hilmi Caddesi (the street running north-south between Kocatepe and Kizilay). The nearby Arjantin Caddesi in Gaziosmanpasa is where you'll find storefronts of the world's poshest labels. Don't bother with the Atakule Tower in Çankaya; most of the shops are of low quality or closed altogether.
The epicenter of Ankara's modern shopping life is in Kizilay, swarming with students and office workers on their lunch breaks. The Gima department store offers low-priced essentials and groceries, and is a useful marker to aid you in crossing the wide boulevard over to the streets between Tuna Caddesi and Gazi Mustafa Kemal Bulvari (Ziya Gökalp Cad., west of Atatürk Bulv.). Opposite the Gima is the more upscale Yeni Karamürsel, and interspersed among the outdoor cafes and beer houses around Sakarya Caddesi are a number of new- and used-book stores, most with a selection of titles in English, along with a passable number of Internet cafes. Kocabeyoglu Pasaji just off Atatürk Bulvari is the neighborhood's resident street-style bazaar, while over on Izmir Caddesi, you'll find leather stores like Moda Canta and togo.
If you've got a car, head out to where most of the better shops have transferred -- to the Armada Shopping Center, located off the eastbound side of the road to Eskisehir, or the Mudo megastore on the Konya road.
Even without the slightest intention of buying a sack of potatoes, it's still fun to take a walk through one of the many neighborhood pazars (local markets), where you're likely to find Polo or Banana Republic overstocks, as well as other necessary and not-so-necessary goods. The largest market is located in the center of Ankara behind the Abdi Ipekçi Park in Sihhiye. The market operates on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and like other local markets, is open from dawn to dusk. Also on Wednesday is the covered bazaar in Asagi Aranci, down the hill off Hosdere Caddesi near Tomurcuk Sokak. On Mondays the Maltepe Pazari spreads out behind the Maltepe Mosque, and on Fridays, the Bahçelievler Pazari takes over 10 Sokak near Azerbaycan Caddesi in Bahçelievler. The Ankara Hali is a chaotic permanent market in Ulus, saturated with stalls of fresh fish, fruit, and vegetables. Farmers gather here in summertime to sell their own produce. The area is also full of butcher shops and charcuteries. Assembling a picnic meal of fresh cheese, meats, olives, and dried fruits is a tempting prospect; if you walk along Hisarparki Caddesi (Fortress Park Ave.) up the hill toward the citadel, you can picnic on the grass or sit on the wall at the base of the fortress.
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