In the heart of the biggest city of Turkey, in between the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia, lies a peaceful heaven, the İstanbul Sanatları Çarşısı (Istanbul Arts Bazaar). Settled in a somewhat typical 18th century Ottoman building, this place is home to people keeping the Istanbul’s crafts tradition alive.
The Arts Bazaar presents 11 art branches and a café in its 12 rooms, all surrounding a small and lovely courtyard, offering visitors a glimpse into the Turkish crafting tradition and expertise.
A few steps from there, you can find the Egyptian Bazaar, offering all kind of manufactured goods for the smallest price you could think of, like a real-life AliExpress shop. How can the small artisans even compete with such low prices and variety? How can traditional craftmanship survive facing this globalisation-powered giant?
The artisans from the Sanatları Çarşısı are quite confident that their work will still have a target audience, as they offer both authenticity and knowledge. The traditional works such as calligraphy, illumination, paper marbling, tile, paper filigree, etc. are what makes Istanbul such a culturally rich city. Those people are part of soul of Istanbul.