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“Gate 7 & The Old Book Bazaar”
Review of Sahaflar Carsisi

Ranked #164 of 1,159 things to do in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: This historic book bazaar was popular with famous writers of the 16th and 17th centuries. Today, it is one of the most known areas in the city to find rare and used books.
Reviewed 25 May 2014

Despite visiting Istanbul a number of times over the years I only recently got around to visiting the Old Book Bazaar. Look for Gate 7 at the Grand Bazzar and just a few paces in you will see a number of book vendors that lead into a courtyard of sorts. I spent a very pleasant hour browsing the titles - from antique to modern - though found sellers more reluctant to haggle.

1  Thank Eddy041
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (58)
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"book market"
in 5 reviews
"book lovers"
in 2 reviews
"turkish lira"
in 2 reviews
"orient"
in 4 reviews
"manuscripts"
in 2 reviews
"arabic"
in 2 reviews
"miniature"
in 4 reviews
"browsing"
in 2 reviews
"sellers"
in 3 reviews
"mehmet"
in 2 reviews
"shop"
in 6 reviews
"bazaar"
in 5 reviews
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14 - 18 of 58 reviews

Reviewed 18 May 2014

I came to the Book Fair to specifically go to Mehmet's Orient Shop. He sells mostly miniatures, paintings painted on original hand written pages (or copies of hand written pages) from old texts. The fair is small and not very crowded. I had to ask my tour guide how to get there. It's right behind the Beyazit Mosque and the University is in front of it.

I liked Mehmet. I spent more time than I'd like to admit looking at the miniatures and he never disturbed me once. He answered all my questions. I asked which paintings were drawn on original hand written pages. He actually took a couple outside into the sunlight with his magnifying glass to check and concluded that most were actually photocopies. He seemed very knowledgeable and truthful and not just trying to sell me something. Also, he offered me raisins and nuts.

He was very lenient with how to pay. He offered payment in Euros, US Dollar, Turkish Lira or a combination of those.

He wrapped up the paintings I bought, kept them in their plastic sleeves and used cardboard on the front and back.

5  Thank Leslie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 November 2013

Sahaflar is a Bazaar for old books, it’s not famous as other bazaars in Istanbul but attractive to whom interested in old Turkish books and Arabic calligraphy. It is located between a stony place on the left-hand side of the Beyazit Mosque and the Sedefçiler Gate of the Covered Bazaar. You can find in this bazaar a very wide verities of original hand writing Arabic calligraphy by famous Turkish artists.

1  Thank AhmedA555
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2012 via mobile

It is a bit small but is bathed in history. The street is good for looking around and relaxing although it seems most books are in Turkish.

2  Thank sabzwari007
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
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Reviewed 18 June 2012

This is a lesser known attraction than the frequently visited and very crowded Grand Bazaar. Especially if you are interested in old books, miniatures and illuminated manuscripts its not to be missed. Go to Beyazit tramstop and head for Gate 7 of Grand Bazaar, when you have it in sight veer to your left nd you will be in Sahaflar Carsisi (Old Book Bazaar) . There are some wonderful miniatures to see here ,while some are cheap and poorly done you can find some lovely work. I went to Mehmet's Orient Shop and purchased two beautiful reproduction miniatures painted by his sister Ayse Raziye Ozalp. Orient Shop also has fabulous calligraphies, old hand written books, maps , Qur'ans. While I was in this shop , it was visited by Turkish bibliophiles and collectors. Less busy than the Grand Bazaar but well worth the detour.

8  Thank ozsolo53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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