We continue our ‘Take a Look at Turkey’ series with a shopping trip to the textile capital of Turkey – Denizli.

Denizli is large town of 850,000 people around 160 km from Fethiye – a 3 hour drive or 4 hour coach journey away.   So what’s so special about this industrialised city up in the mountains? Well it’s Turkey’s textile production capital so it’s full of shops selling a great range of towels, clothes, table cloths, curtains and much, much more. There is even a selection of outlet stores selling excess stock and seconds that have been manufactured for the large stores in the UK – M&S, BHS and Debenhams.

Denizli is close to the popular tourist attractions of Pammukle and Heriopolis. Most tourists are kept away from shopping the main town itself. Instead their guides take them to the large out of town outlet stores where they earn such good commission but the tourist for pays for in the vastly over inflated prices.

As the tourist is fairly rare in Denizli town you will need to brush up on your Turkish if you need directions or want to haggle. You’ll be a bit of an oddity too so don’t be surprised if people look at you. But that’s all part of the fun.

We started our shopping trip at the Deba outlet store on the outskirts of town. The outlet store is located next to the Deba factory and is good for T-Shirts, Jeans, Bedding and Table Cloths. Many of the labels were from well known UK high street shops.

After this we headed into the town centre. From the bus station / railway station we walked up the hill until we arrived at one of the main mosques. From here all the main streets meet and each is jammed full of clothing shops.

{mosimage}One place that’s definitely worth a visit is the indoor textile market opposite the mosque. It’s full of little shops selling a wide range of good value textiles. Starting on the ground floor the shops go up in an upward spiral so you don’t climb any stairs. The higher you get the cheaper the price – in theory. But with so many shops so close together it’s easy to play one shop keeper off against the other and get a good price saving your legs for more shopping.

Next we headed towards the old part of town, called Kaleci (Watch out for brown signs directing you) which has a covered static market. This is the place to buy shoes and ‘antiques’ such as old and new tepsi tables, copper pots, water holders and the like – great for the garden or as additions to your villa. The winding narrow streets are full of small shops and as they are owner run you can haggle hard. We got a pair of ‘Jump’ mens walking boots for 55 YTL and a pair of good quality ladies half length leather boots for 55 YTL. We also picked up a copper tepsi table for 25 YTL. Compare that to Fethiye prices!! You can also pay a porter to take all your stuff back to your car instead of having to carry it if you wish.

{mosimage}We had lunch in a small caf矪ust down from the market. It doesn’t look much of a place but the food is to die for as it specialises in slow cooked lamb. You order the weight of meat you want and it’s brought to your table on a thin bread base with a generous dollop of yogurt. It’s delicious and melts in your mouth – wonderful.

Stuffed full we left the caf矡nd walked back up towards the town centre passing the street of dentists and opticians. After here the high street shops are full of up to date fashion at prices to suit your pocket.

The town’s proud mascot is the ‘Horoz’ or Cockerel and you will see this as you head into town further – you can’t miss it.

We jumped back in the car later and headed through town and on the road towards Izmir. Here on the outskirts of town we stopped at an outlet shop called Funika (http://www.funika.com/). This shop specialises in towels and bath robes. It manufactures for shops like Bloomingdales. Even though it is a ‘normal’ shop we were still able to negotiate a 15% discount because we weren’t ‘escorted’ by a tour rep. We bought some top quality heavy bath robes for 15 YTL each – wow! They had some nice stuff in that shop but how many bath robes can one own?

{mosimage}Back in the car again but this time we headed for Kipa. Kipa is owned by Tesco but you won’t find the same range of things you see in the UK. However, we did spot this recognisable logo for their value lines. Compared to Migros in Fethiye this shop will blow you away with its choice with everything from electricals, gardening through to more clothes and, not forgetting, food.

{mosimage}On the same site as Kipa there is also a range of other shops such as Pasabache. There is also a good range of places to eat including ‘Burger King’. However, avoid that place and go to one of the cafes opposite where you can get fresh, healthy and reasonably priced Turkish meals, pide and casseroles.

Great shopping, great bargains and it was fun to visit another part of Turkey. Finally, it’s best to not to visit Denizli in the Winter as it is prone to snow and is very cold.