Today is May Day; both a day to celebrate the arrival of spring and also to recognize the international labour movement. Although it is a recognized holiday in Turkey, all the shops and banks are open today and the regular Tuesday market through the middle of Gelibolu was in full swing.
I don't like the Tuesday market. It is more crowded than the Saturday market and it takes up about three times the area of the Saturday market. But I really needed to get out of the house and a wander through the market seemed a good option. Today, Cam dropped us at the top of the hill so we wandered through the clothing market before getting to the vegetables.
All sorts of new clothes for every member of the family are for sale at this market. Not to belabour the point but you can buy t-shirts, jeans, jackets, men's suits, panties, bras, socks, men's underwear, baby clothes, scarves and women's dresses. What attracted our attention today were the jewelled satin dresses. Beginning at about $250 tl you can buy a long satin gown covered in bling in any number of colours.
We looked at a few of the clothing stalls at these dresses. Due to their cost and length, they are hung high and at the back of the stall. There's not much trade for these dresses. Most of the shoppers are looking at skirts and dresses hung on lower racks.
Nicole and I were standing together at the back of one stall when suddenly we were surrounded. I wear my purse over my shoulder and around my neck. It sits either just in front or just behind my hip. I felt my purse move. Glancing down there was a woman dressed in observant muslim fashion: colourful head scarf, brown floor length coat, standing right behind me. Her large purse was open wide and one of the zippers on my bag was open as well. I put my hand on my purse and turned my back to her. Suddenly another woman, this one younger and dressed modernly pushed in front of me. I clamped my bag shut and headed for less crowded surroundings. I tried vainly to keep an eye on them, but soon lost them in the crowd while trying to figure out what might be missing. Thankfully my bag has 4 zippered pockets so my wallet, change purse, passports, residence documents were all in different pockets than the one she opened.
I know we stand out in a crowd. We look like foreign tourists. However, until now I've felt very secure. I'm disappointed to have this experience so close to our Turkish home.