Turkey being a country of which three sides are surrounded by sea has been a fish paradise for years. And they were so cheap and considered as “food for poor”. However due to improper fishing methods and considering the number of fish is unlimited unfortunately both the variety and quantity of fish has recently been decreased.


Therefore most fresh and delicious fish are found in reputable fish restaurants causing them to be believed as “food for rich”.


Following are the list of fish still available and the season when they are the most delicious.

Barbunya (red mullet), from April to July

Çinekop (young of blue fish) after October

Çipura (gilt-head bream), all throughout the year. The most famous Aegean Sea fish. However recently it has been raised at sea farms, therefore you can meet both sea and culture Çipura. Obviously, sea Çipura is the most delicious.

Dil Balığı (sole) all throughout the year. Fried is recommended.

Fener balığı (angler fish) all throughout the year.

Gelincik balığı (rockling fish) from May to August. Also known as gaya fish among the Jewish community. With the belief that being the first fish eaten after starving at Sinai desert it is considered sacred. It is a tradition of Jews to cook this fish on Fridays.

Gümüş balığı (sand smelt) February, March

Hamsi (anchovy), from December to February. Although small, one of the most famous Black Sea fish. Delicious with various cooking styles such as frying, steaming etc.

İskorpit (scorpion fish), from May to July. Since it has poisonous thorns absolutely let the fisherman clean off.

İstavrit (horse mackerel), all throughout the year. It is very enjoyable to catch this fish during spring and summer on the pavements of Bosphorus coasts.

İzmarit (blotched picarel), from February to April. Again it is very enjoyable to catch this fish during spring and summer on the pavements of Bosphorus coasts

Kalkan (turbot), from February to April. A Black Sea fish. The ones weighing 4-5 kg. are eligible. For it has thick spine and fishbone always let fisherman clean off.

Karagöz (sea bream), all throughout the year. One of the most delicious fish of Turkish seas.

Kaya balığı (goby), all throughout the year.

Kefal (gray mullet) from January to March.

Kılıç balığı (sword fish), from August to April. One of the most delicious fish, but unfortunately it is almost impossible to find nowadays. Most fish served as Kılıç in the restaurants are shark or other white fish.

Kırlangıç (red gurnard), from April to September. One of the most precious fish soups of which is more than delicious.

Kofana (large bluefish), from September to January

Kolyoz (chub mackerel), from July to September

Levrek (sea bass), all throughout the year. This rare fish has recently been raised at sea farms; therefore you can meet both sea and culture sea bass. Of course sea levrek is more delicious.

Lüfer (bluefish), from September to January. The king of the Turkish seas.

Mercan (red sea bream), all throughout the year

Mezgit (whiting), all throughout the year. Can be seen on the stands of fish sellers almost every day.

Orfoz (grouper), all throughout the year

Orkinos (tuna fish), a kind of fish that cannot be seen on the stands of fishermen. They are used for canning purpose only

Palamut (bonito), from August to January. A black sea fish. Richer than other fish with vitamin A and D.

Sardalya (sardine), from July to October

Tekir (striped goat fish), from February to July

Torik (large bonito), from September to November

Uskumru (mackerel), from November to January. Once the most popular fish of Marmara! However now you can only find the imported Norwegian mackerel. Most of the fishermen try to convince you that chub mackerel they sell is mackerel. Don't believe.

Zargana (garfish, garpike), March and April