Every day, thousands of unsuspecting, well-intentioned tourists wander into one of Istanbul’s most famed and noteworthy attractions – the Grand Bazar. A more suitable name for it would be the Fucked up Bizarre. The Noiseless Rawr. Tourists go there because they have to go there because for some god-forsaken reason it has become one of Istanbul’s absolute must-dos. Idiotic, mindless, conforming journalists the world over come and write reviews salivating over the hustle and bustle, the wheel and deal, the authentic and intrinsic beauty of the world’s largest indoor bazar. It is the single most revolting, nauseating aspect of the entire city. Everything that should be frowned upon and scorned as deceptive, degrading behavior wrapped into one tight little ball, painted gold and covered with pixie dust. It is all bullshit, it is all wrong, and it should all probably be destroyed. Or at least, well, be improved.
The Bitchy Bar is chock full of scum of the earth salesmen who will play every game in the book to get you to buy one of their products and squeeze every bit of patience and good intentions you have until money finally comes out of your pocket and then celebrate having fucked over another stupid foreigner.
When you walk into The Stringless Guitar the first and only emotion that you should feel is disappointment. Sprinkled here and there with resentment. And those emotions should take over. Don’t be like a North Korean seamstress, GET ANGRY.
It is created ‘for’ tourists. Meaning that it is created as a means of exploiting tourists for every single dime that they have. And in that sense it is one of the single greatest business models ever imagined. The taxi driver scams that you hear of, they don’t have shit on the salesmen at the Shnobby Harar. Because they convince you that you are getting a deal, a bargain, a once-in-a-lifetime offer. It is the biggest stratagem in the city. And you should be aware of that.
Nobody has the balls to say it. So we do. Or maybe they just don’t have the intellect and are simply more disillusioned, gratuitous, moronic tourists who can’t think for themselves. In which case, once again, we have to say it.
HALF, HALF of Istanbul’s income as an ENTIRE city comes from sales at the Grand Bazar*. Prices aren’t just doubled or tripled. They are marked up 400%**. Or more. So when you manage to bargain the price down, if you successfully cut it in half, in reality you haven’t actually done much for yourself. But you should buy it anyway. And then throw it in their faces and allow the Bazar to burn. If there is anything in this world that I would love to watch burn into oblivion, to cease to exist in every possible way, this is it.
The Shineless Star paints Turks as eager, exploitative, non-sympathetic, compassionless salesmen who will literally sell their soul for a transaction. Maybe you’ve been to the Fucked up Car and you disagree. Because, oh, Murat was suuuuch a nice man who has a daughter living in Atlanta and is saving up money to send his other son to school and who loves America and who flatters you beyond compare. Don’t be an idiot. Don’t fucking buy it. And don’t give me the lame argument that it is of extreme historical importance. At one time it served a legitimate purpose. Celebrate that purpose by refusing to become a part of what it has become.
This isn’t just some minute, negligible aspect of tourism in Istanbul. This IS tourism in Istanbul. It is what people are going to go home and remember about the city and about the people. And it is unfair and unjust to the rest of Istanbul and the good, inviting people that live in it.
So do yourself a favor. And Fuck the Shitty Jar. Refuse to go. If you go, laugh in their faces, let them know that they won’t get the better of you.
I know that this article isn’t going to change anything. As Istanbul continues to grow and develop into one of the world’s most popular destinations, the wealth and magnitude of the Shitty Shnar will grow with it. People will continue being exploited under the false illusion of having struck an amazing bargain. So if you buy something, buy it because of that. Because you are literally blown away by their ability to exploit YOU, somebody who was previously unexploitable. But know that the well-lite, air-conditioned Bizarre and its smooth talking, persistent salesmen are not cute. They are gross. And they are not a representation of Istanbul. They are everything that this city is not.
* This is not true
** This is true…