Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Last Chance to See Mumcular Street Market

There is nothing quaint or attractive about the working town of Mumcular.  Before the coastal road arrived, it was the last town before the small fishing village of Bodrum and it specialised in providing bread, honey, cotton  and car mechanics.  When I moved to a nearby village in 1992, Mumcular still had a thriving reputation for car repairs but Bodrum had grown up enough to look after itself  and Mumcular had reverted to being the backwater. But a new reservoir  provided much needed irrigation water and land started to rise in price as small farms growing vines and vegetables began to appear.  In the past ten years, Bodrum has grown and grown and demanded more and more public sector workers, but hasn't built anywhere affordable for them to live so Mumcular has become the favoured place for teachers, firemen, policemen etc to settle.  It's only 30 minutes from Bodrum and minibuses are inexpensive and frequent.  Spacious flats have been built that don't come with inflated Bodrum rents. Gradually Mumcular has grown and the one pide oven and one canteen restaurant have multiplied and now Mumcular can boast a "night life".


Throughout all the changes, the one steady regular has been the Sunday street market.  It starts early and is finished by lunchtime. It's crowded and haphazard and you are likely to trip over a misplaced tent pole or a chicken on a bid for freedom.  Cars aren't meant to drive through it but many will try and chaos will reign for a few minutes. Occasionally, tourists turn up to enjoy the informality but most shoppers come from the surrounding villages.  It hasn't changed in the 20 plus years that it's been my local market, but if you'd like to experience one of the few remaining street markets in this area you'd better move fast because there are only a few Sundays left.





The new covered market is scheduled to open in early March and the days of flapping sunshades and mismatched tables and chairs will be no more.  The items on sale will be exactly the same but the fun will be gone.


32 comments:

  1. B to B, A very beautifully written, poignant posting. What was it you said one time? 'If we wanted to live in an orderly country, we'd move to Switzerland.' Sometimes I fear Switzerland is taking us over. And what do we lose? As you say, the fun of it all.

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  2. Love, love, love the pics. The weekly pazar is one of the things I miss most about living in Turkey.

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    1. Let's hope there are still a few around when you come back

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  3. it will be a sad day when Mumcular disappears becoming a suburb of bodrum- but life progresses forward unfortunately persons prefer to stay still.--never the less i will remember Mumcular as it was - allowing me to see and meet turkish people and turkish way of life at a common level and without any false trappings. fond memories Derek

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  4. What a shame. I love the old traditional village markets. Those covered markets have no atmosphere.

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    1. Is Milas still a street market?

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    2. Yes it is...just. It used to take up most of the streets but since last year some roads are now stall-free, but the atmosphere is still the same.

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    3. I shall have to change my market day to Tuesdays. If only I knew where to park.

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  5. . . they 'roofed' Ortaca veg market a couple of years back - fortunately without changing locations. The place hasn't really suffered because it overflows everywhere anyway so canvas and plastic and 'neck-getting' ropes still abound. The village folk are spread out all over the place so it's just as chaotic and colourful as it ever was thank goodness!

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  6. How sterile that building looks!
    San Jose council is trying to move the tented handicrafts market from the centre to a miserable looking building four blocks away to make way for yet another NGO HQ; the traders have managed to resist this for a year so far and have popular support...they'll never attract so many people in the proposed block and the atmosphere will be totally lacking.

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    1. Here,I'm sure the stall holders want to move but the customers are reluctant

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  7. Yalikavak Market is still flapping in the wind. I wonder for how much longer?

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    1. I haven't been for years - hope it is still in the street

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  8. I am so in two minds about this. I love the open markets and doubt if they could every contain Selcuk or Tire under cover. At the same time, I am sure the people working the market will appreciate the shelter. I confess to being somewhat put off by olives floating in rain water and once I was struck by a flying sunshade (I honestly didn't know what hit me) when the wind suddenly gusted.

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    1. Practicalities usually win out in most countries but we're no used to it in Turkey.

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  9. What a shame - we loved our visits to the chaotic Mumcular Market - and struggling back to the car with the biggest melon we could carry between us!!

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  10. How sad. The same thing happened in the village where my in-laws live - the market has lost all its charm.
    I love the image of a chicken on a run for freedom - maybe that's why the Beetles wrote that all-time classic, "She's got a chicken to ride"? :-)

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    1. Don't start me on misheard song titles...

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  11. Next time you'll be able to park just behind the market and buy an even bigger one

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  12. Aww, always a shame when markets are covered - but it is practical, too, and at least we can still get our fresh fruit and veg from them. Fethiye market is half and half and got to say, when it's pelting down, we appreciate the covered bit. Got drowned once by a 'waterfall' from one of the canopies. ;)

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  13. I have a photo of me shopping in Fethiye market in 1981 - I should fish it out and see if you recognise the site.

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  14. Hello!
    Street markets are always a good way we feel to have a window into the lives of local people and the variety that they offer is never without intrigue. The market you show here looks wonderful. So colourful and what it lacks in elegance it surely more than makes up for in what is on offer. It will, as you say, be rather a pity when everything is more uniform and controlled.

    The Sunday street market in Montevideo was an eye opening experience for us containing as it did everything from live animals to music scores. A day was simply not enough to explore it all but the memory of it will live with us for a lifetime.

    Thank you for your warm welcome back. It is good to be back blogging!

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    1. Great to see you back in the blogosphere

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  15. I love your photos and hope the market won't lose all its charm when it's moved to the new building. At least it's not a walled-in block with no daylight. So far the markets in the little towns near us in France and in Wales are still street markets, but there are fewer and fewer stalls because of competition from supermarkets. Sigh...

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    1. Once the market moves to it's new covered space, I see very little difference to the supermarket, but I'll go along and hope to be converted.

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  16. Great photos....I love those 'pazars'.....when we are in Turkey me and my daughter know which day and locations in Izmir the street 'pazars' are and get up and go.......some places we got known with the sellers as the 'yabanci'. The new location and structure looks nice but hopefully it won't lose its charm....

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  17. Oh dear, I've been missing such a lot! What a beautiful old market...shame to lose such character. Let's hope it manages to keep a little of the original atmosphere in its new setting....?
    Axxx

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