After you settle into your newly purchased Turkish real estate, you may find you miss some goods and products from your original home. Don’t worry, international products are never too far away--from in-person shopping in coastal areas and large cities to a plethora of e-commerce platforms, including Turkey’s first business listed on the NASDAQ, Hepsiburada (“Everything Here”) also nicknamed Turkey’s Amazon.
So how can you find what you have been craving? Ask the experts in foreigners’ online groups. Facebook is a basic meeting place for expats to ask where they can purchase favorite ingredients, medicine, and other products. Check out geography specific groups like Fethiye Expat Forum or Foreign Women of Istanbul 2.0 while other groups like Cooks Corner for Expats in Turkey will be able to advise you on your specific needs.
Once you know where to look, “hard to find” ingredients don’t seem so difficult to find anymore. Macrocenter, Migros, Metro and Carrfour all carry popular imported foods from marmite for your morning toast to Nori sheets to make sushi. Small specialty stores also exist such as the Chinese market in Istanbul, Syrian market area in Fatih, and British groceries in the south. Business minded expats and Turkish repatriates have also established companies to supply harder to find goods and a quick Google search will send you to the right spot to buy that special cheese or condiment you are seeking.
For cosmetics, medicine and health products follow the ‘eczane’ sign to visit Turkish pharmacies. Pharmacists are knowledgeable and can help you find the equivalent of your go-to medicine if they don’t offer it in Turkey and often at a cheaper price. Not only limited to medical goods these shops often carry favorite foreign cosmetics brands and products as well as local ones to discover. Chains like Watsons, Gratis and Tchibo round out your options with lots of fun imported goods. International cosmetics brands can also be found in retail outlets like Sephora and department stores.
Most neighborhoods have an equivalent of a high street or central shopping area while shopping malls will round out the rest of your shopping needs. Western high street brands like Zara and Marks and Spencers are common in Turkey. Specialty shopping malls like Istinye Park and Zorlu cater to high end consumers and tourists and there you can find luxury brands, an Apple Store and more. Rarely will you find that the product you are seeking is not on offer in Turkey.
Rounding out your options are an abundance of online retailers. Amazon recently launched Amazon Turkey while local ecommerce sites like N11, Trendyol and Hepsiburada carry a wide range of goods. Happy Shopping from your apartment in Kalkan to your villas in Istanbul!