Since I started Turkish Murkish almost two years ago I get asked the following questions all the time:

1-Is this a towel?

2-Will it dry me?

3-Why is it so stiff?

4-Why is it a different towel?

Answering these questions has taught me a lot about people, my own culture and mostly what really makes me happy along the way. I never thought in a million years that I would pack in my corporate job to pursue my passion of selling the humble Turkish towel.

So a little about me, my family were one of the first legal Turkish migrants to arrive in Australia in 1967. I was two years old. My mum, who did not have a degree, instilled the importance of education in us from an early age. She would say “Education is your key to freedom”. She would sacrifice so much so we all got our degrees. Everything I am today, is because of her. So mum, when you read this know that I have been listening to you even when you thought I wasn’t. I am proud to say, you were always right and I can only hope I have instilled the same values in my own daughter.

We left Australia in the 1979 and was literally thrown into a country where we had to learn a new language and a new culture. Looking back now I realise this journey was part of bringing me back to my roots in my late 40’s.

Fast forward to 2013, I am sitting at a yacht club at Rushcutters Bay for our yearly planning session with PayPal Australia. This time was different though, I was actually inspired by the pair of motivational speakers, Jones and Casey, two boys who dared to cross Antarctica and row to New Zealand. Whilst I was listening I was so inspired that at that table I doodled my business name and knew I would be importing Turkish Towels. My husband, Peter had been urging me to import Turkish Towels since I introduced them to him in Turkey the year before. He too said, “Is this a towel”? I never thought any one would buy them until one day one of the marketing managers at PayPal asked me to help her choose a couple of towels off a website. I was thinking then maybe I should be importing these?

By the time I left the planning session I had so much energy and motivation I couldn’t wait to get started. Within 6 months I was selling at my first market at Cronulla and had my first trade show the following year. I realised I loved educating people about the multitude uses of the humble pestemal and why Turkish cotton was suited for this purpose and the eco friendliness of replacing all your towels with these. It was at this point I realised I wanted to do this full time. My heart was singing again, I had found my mojo. After months of towing and froing with leaving my big pay check to focus on Turkish Murkish the magic happened. I was made redundant! Woo hoo!! I knew it was the universe confirming I was on track.

To answer all the questions I get daily here is why Turkish Murkish is the perfect towel.

  • They weigh about a third as much as a normal bath-towel.
  • They don’t pick up and retain sand like a beach towel and they don’t take forever to dry. As a towel for the beach, bath or gym they are the best in class.
  • Because they are light-weight and conveniently sized, you can use them for almost anything. The Turks do. As a mat for yoga, as a blanket for a picnic or a bunny rug for baby. And we’re hardly started. Travelling and its cold? Use one as shawl. Try that with a towel and see what happens to your cosmopolitan chic index!
  • Turkish towels are made from Turkish cotton. It is light and absorbent and it dries even faster than Egyptian cotton. But the downside, until now, has been that Turkish cotton can be a bit stiff to start with due to the cotton being raw and untreated. When you get out of your shower, and reach for your Turkish towel you want it to be soft and fluffy.
  • Until now you had to wash a Turkish towel about half a dozen times to get the perfect cuddly feel. Sure, you became close to your washing machine but as a relationship it was never going anywhere. So we are particularly happy to announce the introduction of our signature collection – SUPERSOFT.

The name says it all. It is superbly soft. It only takes one wash to break it in and you’re ready to roll. It relies on a looser weaving technique and pre washing. It does not rely on chemical additives.

Just go to and check out our range.

For those who are thinking of pursuing their passion. Do it. Don’t delay and make excuses. It won’t be easy and smooth sailing but guess what there is nothing wrong with doing something that you look forward to every day that makes your heart sing. For me it was the humble Turkish Towel.

Cigdem Pearsall

Cigdem, pronounced “Chee-dam”, the founder of Turkish Murkish Collection came up with the name and concept for her business at her workplace’s planning session when she was inspired by a pair of motivational speakers. By the time she got home she had registered her business name and found a web and logo designer. At that stage she didn’t think that her little hobby of selling Turkish towels at her local market (whilst working full time) would actually become a full time business.
Turkish Murkish’s success took Chee totally by surprise. She left her job in the corporate world after 20 years and drove herself to Melbourne for a big trade show and has not looked back. When asked about her business name, she says “Turks love to alliterate and use rhyme for emphasis and that is how I came with the name for my business. I wanted to bring a bit of my tradition to Australia and educate customers on how wonderful these simple, light-weight, effective Turkish Towels are for drying and absorbing water”

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