Mehmet Kusman is a clever man. He manages to earn his life and this deserves respect. He told his little adventure of finding the perfect stone to carve and carving Urartian symbols and writings as souvenirs, too. He was wearing some of them and showed us the rest after having some tea. I regret that I haven’t got more money, because the square stones with Haldi and Urartu alphabet were really nice. I wanted to have one, but I could only buy a small necklace which has the name of Goddess Hepa written on it.
Here you can find the perfect small gifts to friends back home. I wish I realized this when I was there.
What to buy: Alphabets, Urartu Gods and names carved onto black stone
What to pay: 10 to 200 TL
Change money at Doviz shops.
mind that they are closed on all official holidays & on evening (~5pm).
then always have enough TL.
some shopping malls change money at lower rate
Euro exchange rate is better than $
I met niello ornaments in Van. Owner of the Atasoy Art, Metin Binici introduced me to this beautiful art.
The niello silver ornaments are without doubt the most popular. Niello is an alloy made by combining silver, copper, lead and sulphur. The alloy is ground to a powder and applied to the fine detail on silver ornaments and the alloy fills in the engraved design. When it is reheated the niello melts and become a permanent part of the engraving. After it has been polished it enhances the aesthetic effect of the piece. The best place to find niello silverware is at Atasoy Art, located downtown. The shop is an authority when it comes to niello silver but the real surprise greets visitors the moment they enter for they find themselves face to face with an extensive selection of Urartu ornaments inspired by the motifs of the Urartu Kingdom, whose capital city thousands of years ago was Van (Tuºpa). Perhaps the most noteworthy characteristic of the ornaments designed by Metin Binici is their originality. These unique Urartu ornaments are extremely popular with people who visit the city because of their innovative design.
What to buy: You can buy niello jewllery, urartian neclaces, earrings, rings etc. Also you can buy antiques.
I loved this place fo shopping. All hand made and cheap. I recommend this place to everyone. If you want to buy a real gift from Van, go for it :)
Van has a special cheese which has the wild plants of the region in it. It has a strong smell, so many people don't like it. I like this cheese a lot. My dad used to buy it from some special stores in Istanbul when I was a child. I bought 2 kilos of it before returning home.
You can find it in all general stores of breakfast places. I bought mine from Sutcu Fevzi, my favorite breakfast place. Though, the ones I ate for breakfast were better than the one I bought.
What to buy: Cheese - Otlu Peynir
What to pay: 7-8 lira per kilo
The name of this shop was written in the book I have. I’ve read that they produce jewelry with traditional ways and designs. Also they design new models by using Urartu carvings on the rocks and Seljuk symbols. I was so happy to see it the very first day of our trip. They have quite elegant models. I wanted at least 3 of them but my budget allowed me for just one.
I especially liked the necklaces. They use Cybele forms, some Anatolian figures, etc. And they have many examples of “savat”, a special way to decorate silver with lead generally used by Armenian jewelers. I checked from dictionary and found the word “niello”. I’d like to have a “savat” earring, too.
I also heard that since “savat” is a dying art, people from Armenia had come to learn how they do this now. I hope it will survive.
What to buy: You can see the necklace I bought from Atasoy in pictures. It can be used both ways. One side has Urartu, other side Seljuk figures.
What to pay: Mine was 110 TL, ~$100
main shopping malls & famous trademarks are located along Cumhuriyet Cad. & Kazim Karabekir cad.
What to buy: main object to buy in turkey is clothes & specially Jin.
Aydin Talay sub ground shopping center located at north of Cumhuriyet Cad., sub of square with van lake fishes statue.
What to buy: mainly offer less quality Inexpensive clothes.
we just spent 15min at Aydin Talay