Born In The Grand Bazaar

I have already narrated the story that I found in a document, of a thief, who attempted to steal in the Grand Bazaar and was sentenced to death in a short time. I also narrated anather event from Rafet Yücel which took place in the lnner Bedestan, where a guard, who was falsely accused by a trader, could not bear the unjust accusations and killed himself by hanging hirnself to the door of his accuser. However, since some of the sections of the Bazaar used to be used as dwelling units, there had to be sameone who was bom here. I found this document in an issue, dated April 10th, 1988, of the Milliyet Aktualite Magazine. I believe it would be most appropriate to quote this birth story as it appeared in the magazine, in order to get to know a Bazaar child, and understand the perspective of a person, who is truely from the Bazaar, on the problems of those days. “ls there anybody who was bom in the Bazaar?” “Y es, of course” “His name is Yaşar Ersoy. His father, İsmail Ersoy, once was the head guard of the Bazaar. They used to live in the Cebeci Inn because of his occupation. In 1953, Yaşar made history as the only tradesmen who were bom in the Bazaar.” Since then, he is in the Bazaar. Currently, he works in the watch store of Fazıl Kaçar, who is the director of the Traders Foundation. I guess, because he was bom in the Bazaar, he is a veıy polite and friendly translator-salesman, who has perfect communication skills. He can speak seven languages, though he only has a rrıiddle school degree. Yaşar complains about the young sal esmen, inexperienced workers and foremen. “Brother” he says. “These people annoy and harass the tourists from the East and West. They are dragging them into their stores. It is embarrassing.” According to Yaşar, as long as they treat the tourists politely, every trader will get his share and make profit. He says, “We, the people of the Grand Bazaar, have unique senses which help us read the customers’ minds from their eyes.” Lik e the rest of the Bazaar tradesmen, Y asar also complains mostly about Nuruosmaniye. The big carpet, leather, and jewelry stores there, which prevent 70% of the tourists to get into the Bazaar, are, therefore, their biggest rivals. “Stili, the other 30% comes to the Bazaar,” he says and comforts hirrıself.

The Grand Bazaar is lik e a government. You can find an item for sale for five liras, whereas anather store sells the same thing for ten. Although the swindlers are in minority, they are stili a problem for most of the tradesmen. If you wander and search, you can find the best quality for the best price in the Bazaar. In spite of all problems, none of the tradesmen can give you a number for the total sale of the Bazaar at the end of a day. They srrıile and say, “Probably, it is equal to a small European country’s.”


“Telete verrnatina”


What are these? These are some examples from the Turkish- Greek dialogue in the Bazaar. Büsarnettin Yaşar, whom the Bazaar perrneated and who put his name on his business card as “Hüsam from the Grand Bazaar,” says “We would be doomed without Greeks.” Yaşar Ersoy, the only person who was bom in the Bazaar, died young to best of our knowledge.

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