As you know, Christmas is not celebrated in Turkey. However, Christmas trees, lights, and carols are popping up every where. Even on the TV commercials. Turks have adapted the Christmas holiday as a New Years’ celebration. “Christmas” gifts are even becoming popular for the New Year’s holiday.
As an expatriate, I have learned to adapt to many different things. I have also trained myself to think outside of the box, substituting one thing for something else. But the other day, when my husband surprised me by wrapping Christmas lights around my Dracaena Corn Plant, I had to rethink this whole Christmas thing. Was it actually time for me to break down and buy an artificial tree??? Shivers. After trying to hang a few ornaments on it, I knew it was time to at least look for an alternative.
We headed out in search of a tree. Unfortunately, the places we looked were all closed on Sunday. So I will let you know what my future holds.
For now, here are places where you can find trees . . . just in case you are in Ankara.Remember that you won’t find live cut trees here. There are no Christmas tree farms. But you may find something suitable in a pot or burlap root ball. Please DO NOT GO OUT AND CUT A LIVE TREE! It’s hard enough for those poor saplings to survive the dry summers.
Artificial trees: Bauhaus, Koçtaş, most likely Praktiker too. Tchibo – the coffee shop in CEPA mall or Anka mall might have them. You definitely can order from them online. They also have little ones at Japon Pazari and other small dollar-like stores.
Live trees: Information I have obtained from friends includes
1. on the way to Morgan Park (Golbasi lake), there are 2 or 3 green houses which sell Christmas trees in a pot (last year the 50 cm tree was about 20-25 liras).
2. Esenboga Cicekcilik or Fidancilik on the MAN side of Protokolyolu (the airport road).
3. PARTİ DÜNYASI (PARTY WORLD) – Ankara Bayisi, www.PartiDunyasi.com, ODEON SANAT AKADEMİSİ, Ümitköy 1.Cd. No:20, Tel: 312 235 3797
4. I checked the places in Ulus in the shopping area near the bottom of the hill of the Old City area (where the castle is.) There is a road with nothing but outdoor plant shops. Some of them have some decent trees. Unfortunately, they were all closed on Sunday, so I can’t confirm any prices. But I will probably be going back!
Christmas Decorations: Party World says they have them. REAL market near Bilkent definitely has lights and ornaments. Japon Pazari has a limited selection too. Tchibo has a very limited selection which includes a decent treetop star in gold or silver. I’m sure lots of places in the malls wills start selling things.
The problem with lights and decorations is that the Turks are definitely playing on the New Years/Mardi Gras theme. Last night I saw lots of feathers, bright flourescent colors, and strings of lights with hearts – which the sales guy considered the “plain lights”. So far, Japon Pazari has the cheapest lights – colored only. White lights all seem to be LED which are much more expensive.
That’s all I have for now! Happy shopping and decorating! I’ll update with more information as I get it, including the name of the street in Ulus with the trees.
UPDATE: Check the comments for updates to this post!!! And thanks to my readers for the added information!