Cukurcuma – A hidden treasure for antique enthusiasts

June 21st, 2007  | Category: Memoir/Meme/Misc.


When people visit Istanbul, they usually prefer to go to Grand Bazaar for antique and kilim shopping. They are missing a lot.

Grand Bazaar surely is a place worth visiting over and over, but there is another spot. One that is a hidden treasure.

One that is not as touristy, but full of shops filled with extraordinary items you can not find anywhere in the world. Where else in the world can you find a candelabra with the official signature of an Ottoman sultan engraved on it?

Cukurcuma 2

Cukurcuma district, located in the back streets of Beyoglu and often called the SoHo of Istanbul, hosts over 150 antique shops, owned generally by minorities and Levantines, who have been living there for many years.

Cukurcuma Antiques

Cukurcuma Antique Stores

This historic neighborhood is actually a well-known center by antique devotees and mentioned in European antique catalogues frequently. It is a gem especially if you are into vintage toys, Ottoman-style jewelery and accessories.

Cukurcuma 11

Cukurcuma 7

We toured around Cukurcuma this weekend and I thought I’d share some photos.

Cukurcuma 8

Cukurcuma İstanbul Antique Stores

THE shop to see in Cukurcuma belongs to a friend of mine, Erkal Aksoy. After walking for two hours and bargaining till we drop, we stopped by his store to say hi. He welcomed us with homemade cookies, fruit and ordered Turkish tea from a small tea buffet on the corner that caters to neighborhood stores. It was by far the best tea I have ever tasted in my life. While friends were sipping their teas, I took a few snaps at his store:

Cukurcuma 9

Cukurcuma 10

Cukurcuma İstanbul

If you ever visit Istanbul, make sure to include this wonderful district in your itinerary and do stop by A La Turca.

A La Turca
Faikpasa Yokusu No 4, Cukurcuma
Phone:  + (90) 212 245 29 33

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  1. 1 - Peter on June 21st, 2007

    Hey, Cenk, what a great suggestion. I’m planning to be in Istanbul in the fall, and have now added the district to my already full itinerary…oh…and the tea sounds wonderful. Cheers, Peter

  2. 2 - Shaun on June 28th, 2007

    Hi Cenk – The Istanbul district of Beyoğlu features strongly in Orhan Pamuk’s “Istanbul: Memories and the City”, which I have almost finished reading. Thank you for providing another side to it. I hope one day to see not only Istanbul but also the rest of Turkey, a country that has been of interest to me since I was a kid.

  3. 3 - Ezgi on July 2nd, 2007

    Great photographs and an informative posting about one of Istanbul’s unknown places.

    I will add your weblog to my blogroll.

  4. 4 - sharon lynn on March 20th, 2008

    is it open on sunday?

  5. 5 - Cenk on March 20th, 2008

    Hi Sharon – Only some of the shops are open on Sunday. The best day would be Saturday.

  6. 6 - Leonce Antique Sterling Silver on June 9th, 2009

    Beautiful blog. Thanks for sharing your items.

  7. 7 - Mrs Ergül on October 4th, 2011

    I’m adding this to my itinerary! 😀

  8. 8 - Bill Pyland on July 22nd, 2012

    Going there next week already had this spot on my agenda. 7/27/12. Can’t wait to go shopping.

  9. 9 - Hala on December 22nd, 2012

    Thank you Cenk for the information, I went to that area but didn’t find as many shops as you seemed to have seen. Can you give me some names or addresses? Also is there a outdoor flea market?

  10. 10 - Cenk on January 3rd, 2013

    Hala – The shops are all centered around A la Turca. I don’t pay attention to the name of the stores – just know the owners by name. Try Serdar Ögecan’s shop, which is on the same street. As far as I know, there are no outdoor flea markets in Çukurcuma.

  11. 11 - Hande on March 9th, 2013

    Cenk sahanesinnn

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