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Story Publication logo June 13, 2012

Turkey: A Golden Future in Doubt



Much has changed in Istanbul, and the booming economy of the city has now moved high up into the offices of the shimmering steel-and-glass towers of Levent, on the other side of the Golden Horn, but the Grand Bazaar, which first appeared in the 15th century, continues to exert a special pull on tourists and Turks alike, nostalgic for their imaginary Orients. They come here to buy that special carpet and chat with the craftsmen over a cup of tea – a form of human communication that has long ago disappeared in the modern shopping malls – or just wander aimlessly among the network of galleries and look at the wares. But it is the numerous jewelry shops with their brightly-lit storefronts stacked with a dazzling array of treasures that stop customers in their stride. There are solid gold bracelets, delicate platinum necklaces, silver flowers, sapphires, diamonds, rings encrusted with Koranic verses, gold prayer beads. Perhaps the Oriental fairy tales are true, after all.






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