Saturday August 2, 2008
After Ephesus we went to a Turkish rug factory. Turkey, even though it is a clean and well organized country, is still a poor country where labor is cheap. Consequently, poor village girls come to places like this, to receive an education and to work for minimal wages. They are exploited for sure, but they do learn a skilled and beautiful art, making Turkish rugs. These rugs are famous. Regardless of the morality, to watch the process of making rugs from the initial step of spinning silk threads, preparing the color dyes, to the actual weaving was amazing and a real treat. It is a timeless art and we were given a great tour and rug-show demonstration. And yes, in the end it was a sales pitch, and yes I did purchase a rug, but it was a lot of fun seeing it and I got to haggle in Turkey. While living in India I developed a taste for haggling, and over the years I have gotten quite good at it. I especially love to buy cars and I liked buying this rug. We started at $650 and settled at $375.
Did I get a good deal? Who knows, but at least I felt good about the deal and I feel good about owning something nice that I know how and where it was made. It was a great tour. I think these photos best show what I experienced.