March 30, 2011

What happened to Osmanbey?

The Istanbul district of Osmanbey was known in the past for being the location to buy quality goods. In fact, at one time, it was the very best shopping spot for women in the city.


Over the years, though, women began to flock to a variety of different shopping spots, while merchants turned their sights on outside markets. In fact, there is really only one thing that hasn’t changed about Osmanbey over the years, and that is the quality of the goods you can purchase there.

A group of young girls shower Neriman Teyze, a woman in her 80s, with compliments. After all, her outfit is both chic and understated in a manner that really strikes the eye. As for Neriman Teyze, her response to all this is clear and simple, “Everything I’m wearing is left over from when I was a young girl; they are all articles of clothing from Osmanbey.”

Even though people nowadays might not be aware of it, the fact is, doing one’s shopping in Osmanbey did not used to be something within reach of everyone. Dressing in clothes from Osmanbey used to distinguish the wearer from others. In those days, when you had purchased a piece of clothing from Osmanbey, it meant you had gotten yourself an heirloom. For years on end, Osmanbey was the place in Istanbul to find the most chic, the highest quality and, in fact, the most expensive clothing.

Actually, Osmanbey’s story stretches back to the 1960s and the Mudo store. Young businessman Mustafa Taviloğlu and a partner had opened up a store in Taksim. But after a while there, they moved their new store to Osmanbey. In fact, as the district began to develop, it didn’t take Mudo long to open up another branch. In those years, many non-Muslims lived in Osmanbey, and as the district developed it also suddenly became the most desired location for the textile market.

Throughout the ‘60s, ‘70s and even the ‘80s, Osmanbey saw the intense interest and attention that malls such as Kanyon and İstinyePark do today. Not much in the way of advertising or even effort was necessary to promote Osmanbey’s popularity; the enduring quality of the goods one could buy there did this all on their own.

Read more on Today's Zaman: What happened to Osmanbey?

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