When visiting Turkey, there’s always the need to take a little something back with you, either as a gift for someone, or as a memory for yourself.
Below are a few of the most popular souvenir ideas for you to consider.
Turkish Delight– The sweetest treat
Sold in boxes all over Turkey, Turkish delight is cheap and very easy to pack. These small cubes of jelly-like gums come in a huge variety of flavors including lemon, mint, rose, nuts and lots more. Many shops have loose packages so you can sample them before you buy.
The Evil Eye (Nazar Boncugu)- a keep sake
By far, one of the most popular souvenirs to buy in Turkey is the evil eye. Beliefs say that the evil eye wards off bad luck. This is not only a souvenir, but used by Turkish people in their homes, cars and work places. You can find the evil eye in the form of keyrings, jewellery, trinkets and home decorative items to protect the home. Normally the evil eye is produced in glass. If it shatters, make sure to replace it.
Ceramics– A traditional gift
Small bowls, vases and plates are another lovely idea when thinking of souvenirs in Turkey, as long as they are packed carefully. The Ottoman styles in vivid colors, designs and various shapes and sizes can be found all over Turkey. The ceramic craft in Turkey started during the 8th Century mainly becoming popular with the Sejuks who spread its reputation during the days of the Silk Road.
Leather and gold– a special gift
Leather sold in Turkey is of an exceptionally high quality and includes belts, purses, cuffs, wallets jackets and clothing. Gold is also a great option with gold being of a much higher carat. Jewellery shops even go so far as to making the buyers own designs. If you want to buy leather or gold, you must get your bargaining hat on and bartering skills at the ready so you can get the best price possible.
Turkish Raki– for a tipple back home
If your love of Turkish Raki is awakened during your time in Turkey, you will want to take some of this anise-flavored liquor back with you since it’s not readily available everywhere. You can pick some up at the duty-free store as you leave the country. It’s a great gift and perfect for folks back home since they can get a taste of Turkey that’s not available at home.
Spice Sets– A tasty gift
Turkey is the land of spices, so much so that Istanbul boasts a separate spice bazaar that’s an essential Turkish shopping experience. You can find almost any spice you like in Turkey but the most popular Turkish spices are Sumac, Paprika and All Spice. For souvenir options, you can of course bring back the spices alone or, to make it extra special, you should consider bringing home a beautiful copper spice set to store them in. The spice set, or course, will last longer than the spices and you’ll always think of Turkey when you spot them in your kitchen.
Mosaic Lanterns and Gourd Lamps– A decorative gift
Another exquisite product you will run into multiple times on your visit to Turkey is the mosaic lanterns. Like their name suggests, these are made of mosaic glass and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors, leaving you spoilt for choice. You can also discover that craftsmen of Turkey make lanterns not only using mosaic glass, but with a material that’s a little more natural and organic, dried pumpkins and large dried butternut squash! Yes, you read it correctly. Widely accessible in the coastal regions, these lanterns are made by drying pumpkins and butternut squash, piercing holes in to provide the design or pattern and then decorating them with vibrant colors and sparkling gems. When lit, the light bursts through the holes creating lovely light effects.