- Carpets and kilims: Turkey's tribal carpets and kilims represent a cultural tradition that goes back for centuries. No matter how lame your bargaining skills, it's still cheaper than Bloomingdale's -- and boy, do they look good unrolled under (or on) your coffee table.
- Pottery and ceramics: These arts thrived under the Ottomans, whose skilled craftsmen perfected the coral red and cobalt blue of the Iznik tile. No one has ever been able to reproduce the intensity of these colors, until now. The only authentic reproductions come out of the Iznik Foundation‘s workshop and showroom in Iznik, but they are distributed widely at finer-quality shops. Ordinary but equally stunning porcelain designs on white clay come from Kuthaya (the painting is done at private workshops) and are sold throughout Turkey.
- Textiles: Check the manufacturer's label on your fine linens, terry-cloth supplies, and cotton T-shirts. I bet you didn't realize it, but Turkey exports a huge amount of textiles, supplying the raw materials for well-known retailers such as OP, Calvin Klein, Walt Disney, and Banana Republic. Many Istanbul residents head out of town to Bursa or Pamukkale to stock up on plush towels and terry-cloth robes, but you can also find top-quality clothing and bath towels at Home Goods in Akmerkez and at any branch of Mudo (among others).
- Copper: Turks use copper for everything, probably because it looks so good (particularly the white copper). Tea servers with triangular handles pass you by countless times a day; the wide copper platters that double as tables represent typical Turkish style. Those shiny white bowls you see in a hamam are copper, too. For the best prices and widest selection, head to Çadircilar Caddesi, near the Grand Bazaar.
- Gold and silver: Shopping thoroughfares glitter with the stuff -- some of it attractive, some of it hideous. The Istanbul Handicrafts Center has an atelier where artisans craft their own work. Museum gift shops are also great sources of unique jewelry.
- Foodstuffs: The exoticism of the East is in full bloom at Istanbul's Egyptian Spice Bazaar, where you can find spices with prowess you never knew they had. Specialty stores and sarcüteris (small groceries selling deli-style meats and cheeses) in the Galatasaray Fish Market (Balikpazari) in Beyoglu marinate a variety of delectable little morsels in sealed jars ready-made to take home. Although this isn't Tuscany, you wouldn't know it by the quality of the olive oil; head over to the local supermarket and stock up on a few of the higher-end bottles. Don't forget the wine; several Turkish vintages are walking away with industry awards, such as Doluca's özel Kav Bogazkere-Oküzküzü 2000 and 2001, Kavaklidere's Selection Kirmizi 1997, and özel Kirmizi 2003 and 2002.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.