Three Moments in Ankara: #2 Galeri Z

As we were walking in the oldest part of Ankara, Turkey — the area near the Museum and the hisar (the citadel) — I saw a shop window with some blue and white plates and tiles displayed.

Since I collect blue and white plates, we went in.

The Turkish blue and white plate my family got me several years ago.
The Turkish blue and white plate my family got me several years ago.
signature on the older plate
signature on the older plate
Galleri Z
Galleri Z

I said hello to the shop owner, a short plumpish woman with short blond hair and impish eyes.  She said hello and how are you?  So I thought I would try out my Turkish phrase that Mustafa taught me:  iyiyim sen nasilson. (I’m good and how are you?)

IMG_8161
Galleri Z shopowner: Fatma Tuna

She smiled broadly and congratulated me on my attempt to speak Turkish.  This seemed to put me into the long-lost relative category — or long-lost friend at the very least.  She asked me about our trip and where we had visited and why we were in Turkey.

Some of the many blue and white plates in Galeri Z shop in Ankara, Turkey
Some of the many blue and white plates in Galeri Z shop in Ankara, Turkey

We chatted about all this while I looked at the plates — lots of them hanging on the wall and many more in display cases around the shop.  I had almost decided not to get one since getting it home would be difficult (I would most likely have to carry it on the plane)….but then….I saw one that I absolutely loved.

The lovely plate I bought at Galeri Z in Ankara.
The lovely plate I bought at Galeri Z in Ankara.

The beautifully detailed and intricately painted cobalt blue pattern on the white plate really caught my eye.  She of course got it down for me to look at more closely and she handed it to me.  I could feel how heavy the plate was and up close it was even more gorgeous.  (She knew how to sell things that is for sure!)

She said the company that produced this plate is out of business now, and the woman who painted this particular plate was a known artist.  I (just by eye) also liked another plate that this same artist had painted, but ultimately chose the first one I saw and loved — the one I was holding.

Signature on the plate I bought.
Signature on the plate I bought.

She said she had just three plates from this artist left; the one in my hands, the other one I liked and another one on the wall (with more colors – not just blue and white).

I bought a couple of other small things, and decided I was finished shopping.  Mrs. Tuna cheerfully wrapped everything very carefully and rang me up — chatting the whole time.

I bought this lovely blue and white trivet in Anadolu Kavak at the farthest point of our Bosphorous cruise.
I bought this lovely blue and white trivet in Anadolu Kavak at the farthest point of our Bosphorous cruise.

As we were leaving, she invited us back for Turkish coffee or hot tea after we visited the citadel.  I wasn’t sure we would have time but I assured her we would if we could.  After climbing the steep streets and stairs and enjoying the spectacular view from the walls of the citadel, there did indeed seem to be time to go for a quick cup of tea or coffee and a chat with this very friendly woman.

Some buildings in this area were nearly in ruins and others were fresh and new.

Though she may have been surprised that we came back to take her up on the offer of tea/coffee,

Turkish Tea
Turkish Tea (Photo credit: kulinarno)

the store owner made us feel very welcome and bustled off to make coffee and tea for us.  (I had Turkish coffee and my daughter had apple tea while the men had cold Coke).

Turkish Coffee
Turkish Coffee (Photo credit: mbgrigby)

The tea/coffee cups were lovely, very delicate with beautiful gold highlights.  I said I thought the cups were pretty and she said with a smile, “We sell them here in the shop.”

It felt very nice to be invited to sit, drink and talk in her store. We took the time and so did she.  We got to meet her daughter who also happened to be in the store the second time we visited.  Though we didn’t talk about anything profound or of world importance — it was a wonderful opportunity to get to know more about life in Turkey, and for them to get to know more about life in the US.

Turkish coffee
Turkish coffee (Photo credit: roboppy)

We heard and read how friendly and warm the Turkish people are – and this day’s experiences certainly emphasized that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iznik_pottery

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quirkyjazz

I am a pianist, musician, music teacher, choir director, mother, wife, daughter, sister, cousin, sister-in-law, friend, neighbor. I enjoy music (of course!), quilting, sewing, beading, traveling, kayaking, camping, biking, hiking, gardening, knitting, scrapbooking, cooking, reading, poetry, drinking good coffee, and having fun with family and friends. NOTE -- Creative Commons License: All work of The Tromp Queen (quirkyjazz, aka Jill) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 Unported License.

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