Nope, the "Indian saffron" sold in Turkish markets is actually turmeric. Pretty and very deep yellow, tasty in its own way, but not saffron.
True saffron is dark reddish and comes as long tangled threads. What is sold as "saffron" is orange-red, shorter in length than true saffron, and often contains a few dried flower heads. (That's a tip-off that it isn't a variety of saffron--saffron is the stamens of a particular kind of crocus, so you would never find a complete dried blossom. Safflowers, on the other hand, do have a pom-pom type of head.)
I've done a little more research and found that some herbalists use safflowers and they are sometimes used to dye cloth. I still think they may have some culinary use (Syrian food? Armenian? Georgian? Balkan?) But I haven't found anything definite yet.
Incidentally, price is another tip off. Since saffron has to be picked manually one flower at a time, it's expensive even in countries where the labor is cheap (like Iran, for example).
I'll post any recipes I come across...