Adnan & Hasan: humble carpet sellers worthy of every praise
from www.myistanbulinfo.com | 3/31/2011 12:00:00 AM | Helen Simpson
The Adnan & Hasan Anatolian Carpets and Kilims shop has developed a reputation as one of Istanbul’s leading carpet stores.
Founded in 1978 by former English teacher Hasan B. Semerci and Adnan Gürsu, Adnan & Hasan Anatolian Carpets and Kilims have developed a reputation as one of Istanbul’s leading carpet stores. Situated in the midst of all the action at the Grand Bazaar, Adnan & Hasan is spread over three stores on the same block.
There are no gaudy signs or pushy salespeople here; just quality carpets in an unpretentious environment. Honesty is key to Adnan & Hasan’s approach, and it is instantly apparent that this is not just a gimmick. Those used to the somewhat aggressive style of Sultanahmet shopping are instead promised “hassle-free shopping”; and, equally remarkable, each carpet clearly displays a price tag in Turkish Liras, something which is virtually unheard of in Istanbul.
Semerci goes about his business gently; he takes the time to get to know his customers and to try to understand what they need and want. His reserved charm is complemented by his daughter, Ülgen, who plays a major part in the running of the store. An established artist in her own right, she injects a touch of youth and flare to a business otherwise dominated by, well, an older and significantly more masculine crowd.
The store specializes in new, old, antique and semi-antique carpet and kilims and can ship purchases to just about anywhere in the world. Among the collection is a fine range of Ushak rugs, Hereke silk pieces, knotted tribal rugs, kilims, cicims and sumaks. The majority of Adnan & Hasan’s rugs are sourced from small local dealers who gather them from regions around Turkey, all the way from the Aegean to central Turkey and the Far East. All of the carpets are hand woven, and most are made from wool with a few wool-on-cotton pieces.
Adnan & Hasan are equally well known for the way in which they have contributed to education about carpets and kilims. They give regular rug shows, seminars and demonstrations in-house and at institutions around Istanbul, including the prestigious Robert College and British Consulate General. During U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to the city in 2009, they gave a special demonstration, while in 2010 the International Women of Istanbul were invited to a talk about the ins-and-outs of the often-confusing world of carpets, including very useful methods pertaining to what to look for when buying one.
The store’s accolades are far reaching, and while they have featured in just about every guidebook imaginable – from Frommers to Forbes, The New York Times, Maison Francaise, Time Out Istanbul and more – they remain modest about their achievements. Humble they may be, but Adnan & Hasan is well deserving of all its praise.
Address: Halıcilar Cad. 89, 90/92, Grand Bazaar
Phone: 0212 527 9887
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