Turkish towels

I love my Turkish towel…and here’s why

When my daughter came home from Australia yesterday and handed me a Turkish towel as her gift, I knew what I had to write about today.

Americans are not so familiar with Turkish towels – they are all the rage in Australia

Pictures don’t do them justice. They are wonderful. Before we get into that, her gift also brought me back to the time we traveled to Istanbul, just the two of us. We were in Tel Aviv and we decided to take the short trip from Tel Aviv to Istanbul, a city on my bucket list.

Turkey. A city that is so in your face – it bombards you with tastes and smells, ancient and modern, chaos and mystery.  Visiting a traditional Turkish bath was a highlight of the trip.


Cagaloglu Hamami, built in 1741, by Sultan Mahmout

Basically you strip down and are assigned a personal loofah glove and a masseuse. These are strong, large, mostly naked no-nonsense masseuses.  The ritual involves vigorous washing and scrubbing, not for light weights! They spin you around on the smooth marble like you are made of rubber. I kept trying to peak at my daughter to check if she was ok. Then come the hoses with mega water pressure to rinse you off, again being pulled and spun like a top, sliding all over the marble.

There we experienced the Turkish towel.Our first Turkish towel encounter

Besides being so aesthetically pleasing, these towels are so practical. They are made of deliciously soft cotton. They pack up nice and small. You can use it as a beach towel, a picnic blanket, a scarf or a sarong. They beckon thoughts of the Sultans and marble baths and wondrous universality of life, the old and the new. 

Mark my words, these towels will become as ubiquitous here in the states as they are in Australia, so I am giving you a hot tip ;-). You can find them, of course, on Amazon. Be sure they are the pure Turkish cotton. Summer is approaching, let me know what you think.

13 thoughts on “I love my Turkish towel…and here’s why

    1. It was way more intense than the polar plunge but comparable! You just need to get to Istanbul…

  1. Anne, you make them sound so exquisitely sensuous! I just want to wrap myself up in a Turkish towel–but forget the Turkish bath!

  2. I took a trip with girlfriends to California over 10 years ago. My friend, Christine, took us to a special store that sold only Turkish towels. I bought 2 oversize ones and schlepped them home in my suitcase.
    To this day, they remain fresh and cozy and our family’s favorites. My husband uses “his” to stretch every morning and recently commented on how well it has lasted and how it continues to be his perfect mat.
    Because of your wonderful reminder, I’ll make it a point to add a few more to our old standbys that we adore. Thanks!

  3. Big in Italy, too. I call them “peshtemals.” Great for tent making on a hot beach or to change in and out of swimsuits. Waaa – where is summer?

    1. I thought I saw some today at Target but totally not. Do you have one? Hopefully we’ll get a chance to use it ?

  4. I now know what everyone who receives a gift from me will be getting, their own turkish towel. It sounds like a perfect gift! And I also will gift myself with one.

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