Eğin Tekstil carrying on fine five-generation operation

from www.myistanbulinfo.com | 2/23/2011 12:00:00 AM | HELEN SIMPSON

What makes Eğin Tekstil's products stand out are their clear quality. The store's handmade towels in particular have gained it an outstanding reputation

Run by the charmingly eccentric Süleyman Ertaş, a former medical doctor, and his feline counterpart, an equally eccentric Van cat with snow-white fur and different-colored eyes, Eğin Tekstil is one of Turkey’s top textile stores. While the cat sleeps in the small attic above, lording over its beloved owner and his visitors below, Ertaş and his staff offer useful advice on the stock and a few stories along the way.

Ertaş is part of the fifth generation to be involved in the day-to-day running of the store; it was founded almost 150 years ago by Hacı Bekir Ağa, and lucky visitors can still see the original order from Sultan Abdülhamid II, which granted permission to the family to operate. The building is one of the oldest in the Grand Bazaar, even boasting a Byzantine-era annex. Its walls, more than a little rough around the edges, are plastered with little greetings and notes left by happy guests, which have included many politicians, musicians and even the well-known travel writer Rick Steves.

A large, L-shaped bench dominates Eğin Tekstil’s interior, and around it are shelves stacked high with colorful towels, natural olive oil soaps and other bath accessories, bed covers, table cloths and peştemals – traditional Turkish hamam sheets. Dr. Süleyman’s two children run a nearby store, situated at number 50 Yağlıkçılar Caddesi. It is considerably smaller, but stocks the same high quality range as the main one.

What makes Eğin Tekstil's products stand out are their clear quality. Its handmade towels in particular have gained it an outstanding reputation; they absorb considerably more water than standard towels, and dry much quicker. Seasoned travelers used to the greasy-feeling micro-fiber equivalents find that there is simply no comparison, and they are equally useful as beach towels or for home use as they last for many years and survive countless washes.

All of the designs are officially patented to the store, and much of the stock is produced in a workshop in the famed textile town of Denizli. The brains behind the 2004 Hollywood blockbuster “Troy” were so taken by its merchandise that they sourced many of the textiles from Eğin Tekstil to use for its costumes. The store also supplies its products to luxury bathhouses and hotels in Istanbul and internationally.

Any doubts concerning purchases are dispelled by the large pledge to customers on its wall, which promises “Endless customer happiness and satisfaction is found in this store. It is the result of a 140-year old tradition and our experiences. If you are not pleased with any good you can bring it back any time and without any reason.”

As one who has had the pleasure of owning one of the store’s famous towels, the only apparent reason for coming back is to purchase another.

Address: Yağlıkçılar Caddesi No.1, Örücüler Kapısı entrance, Grand Bazaar.

Phone: 0 212 527 514 34 46

Web: http://www.egintekstil.com

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