Satis Sanati: The Art of the Sale

We awoke to rain this morning, but did not let it deter us as we set off down the wet street in front of our apartment for a day of sightseeing.

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We caught the tram for tourist central — Sultanahmet — where we toured the Blue Mosque, commissioned in 1609 by Sultan Ahmet I.

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Little did I know that our morning of sightseeing would become a lesson in the art of selling Turk-style. Sadik targeted us as we were wandering around deciding what to do first. I’m sure we fit his profile — older Europeans/ Americans who look lost. He approached offering help, a handsome man, casually dressed, speaking impeccable English.

We took his help as a guide because he was cultured and well versed in the history surrounding us. He assured us he wasn’t a tour guide, but did encourage us to visit his family’s store when we came out of the Blue Mosque.

We took him up on the offer and what a pleasant experience we shared! His family owns the 5K Rug Store and the 5K Jewelry & Ceramic store in the Arasta Bazaar. Kardes, Sadik explained, means “brother” in Turkish so 5K means 5 brothers — not 5,000.

Having three beautiful rugs in storage at home, we weren’t in the market for rugs, but I did enjoy buying some ceramic gifts and negotiating over the price of a piece of inexpensive jewelry. I’m certain I over paid for everything I bought, but the sales process was so fun and well executed that I just didn’t care! It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Sadik is quite the pazarlamaci (marketer) and he and his brothers/cousins are masters at the art of the sale.

We left Sadik and strolled around the Hippodrome. A stadium was first constructed here in 203 AD. I tried to envision chariots racing round it a la Ben Hur. The rain was long gone and we enjoyed another sunny, spring day in this fascinating city.

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