"It's all fake" Turkey Tourist Trap Tip by iandsmith

Turkey Tourist Traps: 104 reviews and 52 photos

How fortunate was I? Enroute to Turkey I was sitting next to a lady, originally from Iraq, who had spent a required two years in Turkey before being considered for entry into Australia. She was on her way back to pick up some relatives who had just qualified also. Much of her time in Turkey had been spent in 'sweat shops' (garment factories to the uninitiated) and she regaled me with tales of how dodgy the whole industry was. Thus, armed with this information and on my last day in Selcuk I wandered in to the markets. God I love the atmosphere in markets. Makes you want to buy all that crap you'd never glance sideways at normally! Anyhow, I came across a Versace shirt that I really wanted, just as they were starting to pack up. The vendor, working out that I was English speaking, repeated continually, 'Genuine Versace, you see the different numbered buttons.' I, just as often, replied that 'It's O.K., I know they're fake, I want one anyway.' Then he insisted, 'No, ees not fake, genuine Versace, different numbered buttons.'
I deduced here that they had been caught out with their original (there's an ambiguity for you!) attempt by only putting the same number on each button. After the inevitable haggle and beating down to bargain price I realised I didn't have enough acceptable money. A kindly German lady offered to change some of my American dollars but I ended up going to the ATM machine and I remember being amazed at visiting a bank I'd never heard of, putting a piece of plastic into a hole and pushing a few buttons before local currency flooded from the machine. I still find it amazing. Even more so when you realise that the inflation rate then was 98% and if I'd waited a few more minutes I may have gotten more out! So, thus armed, I returned to the Versace man and got my shirt.
Later on, in the hotel that night, I spent an hour re-sewing all the buttons on after two fell off and the rest were only held by about two threads of cotton! Just love those genuine Turkish garments!

Fun Alternatives: Wait till you get home and shop in a boring supermarket and REALLY get ripped off!

Review Helpfulness: 1.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Oct 11, 2002
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