In the shopping customs of Turkish society, bazaars – or markets – have had an important place for centuries. We call them “Pazar” in Turkish, the same word we use for “Sunday”, where we shopped for fresh vegetables and fruits for a long time. Bodrum market is one of the most famous farmer markets in Turkey with the diversity of fresh vegetables and herbs.
No matter how hard the weather in Bodrum is, bazaars meet locals every day of the year. The food bazaar is set up once a week on a certain day in each town of the Bodrum Peninsula, making it possible to find a farmers market every day of the week in a different town.
Shopping for greeneries in a farmer’s market is a strong tradition. It is so strong that no national market chains which have been around more than two decades have been able to beat it yet. The best proof is the Bodrum market which is literally set up at the front door of the one of the largest and biggest market chains of Turkey: Migros.
When somebody says “Bodrum Market”, the food bazaar is the first thing that comes to mind. Yet, there is another market sharing the same space on a different day of the week: clothing bazaar, or textile market.
Sometimes both food and clothing bazaars coexists in the same day at the same place as it is in Turgutreis and Milas. However, they are mostly set up on different days in many cities and towns of Turkey.
A large area with a tarpaulin roof is allocated for Bodrum market just next to Bodrum Minibus Station. It is regulated and audited by the municipality.
All stall owners should follow certain health and safety regulations and a fair pricing policy. The municipality police, Zabita, monitors the marketplace to make sure that everything is done by the book. They have a small station at the south east corner of the market area where you can report any issues bothering you.
Bodrum Market, or Food Bazaar
Food grains, legumes, red meat, and some vegetables are the basis of Turkish cuisine. However, local cuisine of the Aegean Region is different and dominated by various native herbs, vegetables, and olive oil. Since most of these greeneries can only be found locally, Bodrum market attracts special attention among Turkish guests as well as international travellers visiting the town. Honestly, I had no idea that there were so many green things which we could eat until I got there for the first time.
Some of the farmers arrive Bodrum market at Thursday evening. As they work for getting ready for tomorrow’s food market, they do not refuse early comers. Still, a little competition and having more alternatives are good things. I would wait until Friday if I could.
With its authentic atmosphere, Bodrum market is one of the places to go to learn about the culture by observing it in action. All the hum and noise of the hundreds of sellers and customers is mixed with the scents filling the air and the bright colours of the fruit and vegetable stalls.
At the south end of the bazaar, on a terrace looking over the minibus and bus stations, a group of local producers sell other regional tastes like cheeses, olives, olive oils, butter and many more.
Personally, I am a regular customer of Cingiloglu’s stall to buy Izmir Tulumu cheese, which is my favourite, to bring back home. But be warned: this is a salty cheese and may not be good for your blood pressure. It is normal to ask any of the stalls to taste olives or cheeses before you buy.
Please keep in mind that beverages of all kinds and raw meat are not sold at the food markets. Migros market adjacent to bazaar area can help you find them.
Most people prefer to go to bazaars as early as possible. They want to be one of the first customers to choose from what is offered. They also want to avoid high mid-day temperatures. When the evening comes, farmers start to get ready to leave. They want to sell off what is left in their stocks instead of loading them back to their pickup trucks. After a long day, the greeneries mostly lose their fresh look anyway, so they sell them with a big discount.
Clothing Bazaar, or Textile Market
Textile industry is the second biggest industry in Turkey. Thousands of textile factories and workshops work around the clock as a contractor of well-known international brands like Levi’s, Pierre Cardin, Lacoste, and many others. Clothing bazaars are where surpluses and products for domestic market are being offered at cheaper prices. You can imagine a textile market as an outlet store of smaller textile factories and workshops.
Clothing bazaar opens at the same location with the food market. Stalls are coloured with wide range of textile products like tablecloths, coats, socks, jeans, underwear, swimming suits and many more.
Have you read my article about the ferries between Bodrum and Greek Islands? Come summer or winter, every Tuesday the textile market hosts locals and small business owners from the Greek Islands. They sometimes shop for themselves, sometimes shop for their shops back in their islands. One of the stall owners has told me that they mostly shop for jeans, t-shirts, and Turkish handcrafted textile products. That is the reason why you can find a ferry to Kos every Tuesday all year round. The mainland Greece is 400 kilometres away but Bodrum is only 25. Where would you go?
The prices and qualities may vary at each stall, but they probably have a small margin for bargaining.
I have received some complaints from you regarding to luxury brands being sold in clothing bazaar, and some shops at the Bars Street. Please forgive me but there is nothing to be surprised when the Louis Vuitton purse or a Rolex watch which you paid €15-€20, turns out to be a fake product. Many Lacoste products are manufactured in Turkey but that does not mean Lacoste will allow the manufacturer to sell original Lacoste t-shirts in Bodrum clothing market for one-tenth of its original prices.
List of Bazaars around the Peninsula
Either small or big, every day is a bazaar day in Bodrum.
Here is what you find every day of the week in the towns and villages of the peninsula.
- Turkbuku: A small farmer market which is usually open until the noon.
- Guvercinlik: A small farmer market with sea view!
- Kumbahce: A local neighbourhood bazaar in Bodrum, usually open in the morning.
- Bodrum: Textile market, the most popular among the international travellers.
- Milas: One of the largest markets in the Aegean Region of Turkey where you can shop for fresh food and all kinds of textile products, including Turkish Rugs.
- Yalikavak: Farmer market with lots of homemade products like jams and pickles.
- Golkoy: A small bazaar for locals where you can find both food and textile products.
- Derekoy: Probably the smallest farmer market in the peninsula.
- Ortakent: A popular food bazaar for locals where you can also find textile products.
- Gundogan: A small but beautiful farmer market.
- Gumusluk: A food market where you can also find ornament stalls in the peak season.
- Yalikavak: A famous textile market which is also known as “High Society Bazaar” by locals.
- Bitez: A large area where you can shop for food and textile at the same time.
- Akyarlar: A small farmer market.
- Bodrum: Bodrum market is one of the most known bazaars in Turkey. It is also the topic of this article.
- Yali: A small neighbourhood food market for locals.
- Konacik: Another local neighbourhood farmer market.
- Turgutreis: One of the largest and most popular bazaars in the peninsula for both textile and food products.
- Bitez: A flea market where you can find various second-hand merchandise, especially textile products.
- Gumbet: An average sized bazaar for mostly fresh vegetables and greeneries among with some textile products.
- Mumcular: The farmers market in the heart of the agriculture area of the region.
- Kizilagac: A small farmer market where mainly people living in this village shop.
If you are not familiar with the measurement units in the metric system, find out how to convert them into the imperial system.
Spring in Bodrum
When summer days are ahead, spring in Bodrum is the time for finishing up preparations for the coming tourism season.