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Стамбул - это бывший Константинополь. Здесь есть блошиные рынки и антикварные магазины. Но работают они совсем не по расписанию. Если вы прочтете, что рынок открывается в 9 часов - приходите к 11 и тогда, может быть, кто-то начнет работу. Я бы не сказал, что это настоящий рай для любителей блошиных рынков и лавок старьевщиков. Они тут есть - лавки и старьевщики, но качество и цены оставляют желать лучшего. Кроме того постоянно беспокоит мысль о проблемах с вывозом купленного: вывоз антикварных предметов из Турции запрещен.
Будьте осторожны с таксистами: очень часто попадаются жулики. Такси в Стамбуле строго зарегулировано: 2,5 динара посадка и 2 динара километр. Все это четко видно на таксометре. Если вам на таксометре показывают цифры в количестве более четырех (две до запятой и две после) - можете не сомневаться перед вами жулик! Зовите полицию, вас дурят минимум вдвое.

 Horhor Bit Pazarı (Flea Market) 

Metin Özkaya is a veteran artisan, who has been the chairman of Horhor Antique Store for thirteen years, and who has been the restorer of important historical buildings like Yıldız Palace. Having been doing this job since he was twelve, Özkaya prepared television programmes, conducted seminars and gave lessons. And his lessons still going on in the antique bazaar have been visited by some well-known antique lovers and collectors.

When we ask Mr. Özkaya what kind of articles are in the category of antiques, he tells us that an antique has artistic value, represents a period and is rare. On the other hand, an article having no artistic quality and not representing any period though it is old, is in the category of old articles. “For example there are tombac works made in the sultans’ time. In these pieces gold is amalgamated on copper with mercury. In those days craftsmen doing tombac work were poisoned by mercury and got sick. Today there is no tombac work being done. Tombac pieces have the quality of real antiques.” Some antiques are in the category of historical artifacts. After these articles are expertised, they are coded, registered in a museum, and officially sealed as forbidden to be taken abroad. “An expert cannot master every kind of piece. There are separate experts of glass, furniture, clothe, books etc. Best experts are found in palaces. You can have a piece, take it to Topkapı Palace and have the best expertise done there. Because they have samples.” says Mr. Özkaya shortly. When an antique piece is being val-ued, it is very important where it comes from -which palace, whose house- or which artisan made it. Firstly workmanship, and secondly materials of these pieces, which are not produced today, are taken into account.

We ask Mr. Özkaya about antique business in Turkey. He says, “There is corruption in our country as well as in the world. Furniture nowadays is like paper. Because it is not wood, but more like pressed paper. They may go on with it, but they shouldn’t destroy the old craftsmanship. Here artisans are trying to work on nacre. If you don’t support them and they cannot train apprentices, you will get antiques brought from America. Today artisanship is dead. There are no carvers, old polishers or carpenters.” Thus he indicates the importance of craftsmen, who are the last workers of a culture, which tends to disappear day by day.

Masses as well as those interested have an important part in keeping this tradition alive. “Everyone should see in this kind of bazaars what craftsmen have done so far. Turkey used to be a paradise of artisans but today, unfor-tunately, these kinds of bazaars are desolate. No one ever comes, not even for seeing.” he says. We ask to which extend this is related with socio economic conditions. He says “There are people setting their hearts on this job. One makes himself an orientally decorated corner. He places a divan, an old kilim, a hookah, a sherbet container, and a Beykoz (a special glasswork) here is an oriental decoration. You don’t necessarily have to buy luxurious furniture, and besides people can buy very cheap and different things from secondhand shops. Today we pay a lot of money for instable chipboard furniture.”

Veysel Yılmaz, who is the owner of Azim Altın Varak in Horhor, is an artisan and salesman doing this job since 1975. He has been trained from apprenticeship, and he lectured in Mimar Sinan University, Faculty of Fine arts, as a guest instructor. He is one of the very few golden foil craftsmen in Turkey. Here you can find golden foil, which is applied on mirrors, picture frames, furniture and glass in ovens, and which is used almost in every peri-od in papier mache, ceiling and wall decoration. There are a lot of golden foiled furniture and objects from 1850s in the shop: screens, tabs, bellows, mirrors etc. “Old furniture is alive, wood is alive, always. It leaves the negative energy to the earth, and always gives the positive energy to people. It always smiles, if you can see. It always tells you pleasant memories.” says Mr. Yılmaz. In the shop doing marginal sales, we have a wide range of prices be-tween 500 and 30000 $.

The owner of Sedef İş in Horhor, Soner Doğan is an antique dealer who has taken over the shop from his father. He has been in antique dealing for 45 years and in Horhor since 1989. There are pieces as well from the Ottoman era and furniture in the style of Damascus in the store, in which nacre work is dominant. Tortoiseshell, nacre and ivory covered tables are from between 1850 and 1870. Lamp places and kavuk (a kind of cap) places are original Ottoman works.