Summit Goes Behind the Bazaar

If you are wondering how we came about to create these unique excursions which make up Behind the Bazaar, then why not enjoy a cup of tea as my partner Tara urges in the previous post, while I tell you a little about it.
Being two women who do our best to discover and support female artisans, artists and designers mainly here in Turkey, we designed several itineraries which would take visitors to see these artisans in action. With a backdrop of such a rich arts and culture heritage, we saw that it was also important to show people where these arts had their roots. So we designed our excursions to include a historical workshop complex called medrese - which were the universities of the day and taught everything from maths and science to literature and poetry. Armed with the knowledge of these eye-opening ancient art techniques, it only made sense to then visit modern designers who use these ancient arts and crafts to draw their inspiration.

A memorable group: Enjoying a typical Turkish lunch in the centuries-old courtyard of a medrese.
Our most memorable and fun experience was with our first major group following the 1st International Women Entrepreneurship and Leadership Summit, held in Istanbul on 4-5 June 2009. It was a tailor-made 2-day excursion which encompassed every single stop on our itineraries and was a refreshing way for everybody to shake off their conference uniforms and enjoy an unknown side to Istanbul, both ancient and modern. The excursion consisted of two days full of art, ancient crafts, interesting female designers and quirky settings. Despite such an intense program, it wasn't at all tiring as little walking was involved and everyone had time to absorb each stop at leisure thanks to our air-conditioned tour vehicle.

So, a huge thank you to everyone who joined us on that tour and made it an unforgettable experience.

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