Everyone knows that there are a lot of Turks in Germany, but did you know that Berlin has the third largest population of Turkish people of any city in the world? That being said, you can imagine the near hysterical nature of my inner Turkophilia prior to and during my time in the German capital. 

One of the top priorities on my "Things to do while in Berlin" thesis was to visit the Turkish Market in Kreuzberg. I learnt that the neighbourhood of Kreuzberg is the centre of Turkish immigrant life in the city (and it's also the upcoming hipster hangout but this, my friends, is for another post) and the Türkenmarkt is the largest Turkish market in the city. 

The first Friday I was there, which would be June 8, I U-Bahn'd myself over to Maybachufer to get an early start on the stalls. "If you can find it in Turkey, you can find it here" seemed to be the general essence that wafted through the market. From beautiful fruits and vegetables - both local and imported - to a range of cheeses, meats and fish, and fresh bread and simit, you could find it all! A foodie's delight, no doubt. There were tons of interesting stalls which sold fabric, embellishments, and even varieties of cezves (the pot used for making Turkish coffee). I was intrigued, and wanted them all. 

The weather was cool and perfect and it was a lovely, sunny day. The Turkish Market is definitely a to-do while in Berlin. On that note, I must say that I was a little let down. Was it my astronomically high expectations? Was it the greasy, overly crispy, gözleme I ate that put me off? Was it the fact that the market was actually much smaller than I thought it'd be? I suppose it was a little of all the above coupled with the fact that there were only two or three hot food stalls (of which one had traditional Ghanaian fare laid out wat, and the other was the awful, fast-food quality gözleme place). I love me some Turkish food, so I was looking forward to more variety.

It is without a doubt that I'll revisit the Türkenmarkt when I return to Berlin. 
But I do hope that next time I'm back I'll be greeted by more kebaps, börek, and non-greasy gözleme. ;)


 The Türkenmarkt sets up shop parallel to this lovely canal. Boats full of people cruised by as people relaxed and munched on snacks bought from the market. While I was here, a girl with a SOAS bag came and sat next to me and after brief conversation I learnt she recently graduated. Us SOASians really are all over the world!

Note the painted computer monitors lodged between the branches.

 These dolmas were fresh, perfectly seasoned and ooohh so pretty. 
Washed down with ayran, I couldn't imagine a better lunch.

 After I toured the market and found myself a seat for a bit of rest, I recognized someone walking towards me - it was Fiona, a sweet Scottish woman who was staying in the same hostel room as me (in the bunk below me, in fact!). These random bump-ins are such a nice change when you're travelling alone!

Several varieties of fresh Turkish loaves and simit (the sesame seed covered, doughnut shaped bread in the upper right corner) for sale. 

 There were quite a few of these counters stuffed with a range of marinated seafood and dips.  These stores were perpetually packed with people buying grams and grams of the deliciousness pictured above to their heart's content. 

 Dang, look at the size of those shrimps.

 Succulent black and green zeytin (olives). Typically Turkish.

 It seems Istanbul's very own Mişir Çarşısı (Egyptian Market) has now made an appearance in....Berlin? 
This awkwardly taken picture was rushed thanks to the mob of people surrounding me. 


  1. 1-Kreuzberg is not the 'upcoming' hipster hangout...it has been it for ages :P
    2-do not ever hope to find turkish food that lives up to its name outside of turkey. you can hope for something all right, but not as good. or you're in for disappointment. doesn't matter how turkish the cook is. it's a golden rule.
    anyway the few times i visited turkish areas in berlin i had the same kind of feeling, of something vaguely reminding me of turkish atmosphere and thus nice enough, but never *really* good enough. so i ended up sticking with other areas.

    did you have a good time at my hostel anyway? this is mariasole, btw :P

  2. Hey Maria! Hostel Aloha was fabulous, I had a great time there! I asked about you but the people working there didn't know you! Maybe they changed from the time when you were there.

    Also, a couple of clarifications!
    1- I use the word 'upcoming' very loosely, to show how Kreuzberg is so dynamic and constantly changing! Everyone hasn't experienced Kreuzberg for themselves the way we have, so I thought it was important to make it clear that Kreuzberg hasn't ALWAYS been the way that it is now.

    2- The gözleme was the only negative food experience I had. Believe it or not, ALL the other Turkish food I had in Berlin was at par with whatever I ate in Istanbul (actually, the many lahmacuns in Berlin were even better than those in Turkiye!)


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