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The first “satellite” shopping plaza to challenge “downtown” shopping habits was Oasis, located on the northwest side of town by the Gümbet crossroads. This shopping mall is still trying to overcome traditional small town distrust of innovation and grumbling that big business interests were out to crush small local merchants. But as people start to find that shopping in clean and attractive surroundings can be a convenience and a pleasure Oasis will probably take root.

oasis mall

Getting out of the crush of humanity in the center of town and being able to shop at leisure, having a meal or a coffee in an outdoor cafe without smelling exhaust fumes, or taking in a movie are things that the Oasis Mall offers. Also, Oasis provides free round-robin bus transport - and spotless loos!

Another shopping complex is the Bodrum Karada Marina. Within easy walking distance from the middle of town, this new shopping area promises to have the makings of a popular venue with its “Seven Seas” atmosphere
created by the backdrop of hundreds of sleek sea-going yachts. Appropriately, this shopping center is accessible and open to everyone, not just the patrons of the marina, so Bodrum residents and all visitors will be able to shop for some of the finest internationally known labels like Levi’s, Tommy Hilfiger, Vakko, US Grant, etc.

The shift in the shopping scene is discernible, so the shopper looking for that special purchase will be well advised to wander farther afield. You may find just the kilim or carpet you want in Emin Diravaci’s shop on Atatürk Street near the Sölen Bakery, while interesting and original Turkish miniature works can be found at ‘Turkish Handicrafts’, a little farther east on Atatürk Street. Genuine antiques and elegant handicrafts can still be found, in a few shops dispersed in an ‘outer circle’ surrounding the older downtown. The influx of well-to-do Turkish summer residents has created a demand for choice, one-of-a-kind furnishings and trimmings for their seaside villas. This, is turn, has made it worthwhile for dealers to search for, buy and stock items for which there was little or no market in the past. Finding these shops can be a minor adventure since they are located somewhat out of the “tourist- convenient” area, but the search will acquaint you more closely with the local scene which is a pleasure in itself. Buying antiques, however, may be risky since Turkish laws prohibit the exportation of antiquities with historical and cultural value, and smuggling carries heavy prison terms. If you find an antique you just can’t live without, consult the staff of the Bodrum Castle museum and obtain a certificate stating that the item you intend to take out of the country can be legally exported. Old carpets and kilims should also have such a certificate; this can usually be taken care of by the carpet dealer, but ultimately it’s your responsibility. Happy hunting!

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