Turkish Encyclopeclia gives the following information about this histarical Bazaar: In the old İstanbul Beelestan which can be seen as an example for other bedestan builelings, there are spaces unclerneath the grouncl to put the safes, twenty eight repositories that are covered on four sicles anel trunks underneath these shops. Four of the twenty eight repositories are placed on the comers while twenty four of them are inside the walls. These were designeel the way they are so that three shops can have anel share one repositoıy. İstanbul Beclestan is in the size of 1082 square meters. If you look at it from the inside, there seeıns to be fifteen domes, while it looks !ike there are twenty three when looking at it from the outside. Bec.lestan is built on four six-meter thick walls and eight elephant feet; eight of the clomes sit on these elephant feet. People and the tradesmen usec.l to sa ve tlıeir valuable belongings in the Bedestan by paying a smail charge. If the owners of these belongings or money died, the ınoney was forgotten, and no inheritor was founcl, they would be left to national treasuıy.Accorcling to the Act of Fatih (Mehmecl the Conqueror) Foundation, it is understoocl that first bazaar was lıuilt on the area from Bedestan to the Flea Market, anel the Grancl Bazaar was built on this bazaar’s surroundings anel took its current shape. Although Old Bedestan isa Byzantine structure, New Bedestan is a Turkish monument.. Mehmed Zeki Pakalın, uncler the title of Beclestan in his faınous book called “Dictionaıy of Histarical Ottoman Idionıs anel Tenns”; haci written the following about the Old Beclestan:The most important bedestan of all is the beclestan of İstanbul. Beclestan has the history of more than a thousancl years considering the picture of an eagle on the top of its cloor.
There are accounts daiming dut it was built by Augustus. Wood bolts between the repositories inside the walls anel its cloor elencıtes that there were people who spent the night here. Disorclered walls inside give the impression that no pictures were put on theın or even if there were, they clecomposecl. It reminds the possibility of a place where priests experienced a period of suffering and asceticism. Inside paıts of the sb(-ıneter thick walls are reseıved for twenty four repositories. Shops with brick walls all arcıund are built together with the repositories for the purpose of support. If the Bedestan is measured from inside the builcling, it is foıty eight meters long anel thiıty six ıneters wide. The domes which are cmıntecl fifteen from the inside, seem twenty three from the outside. One anather clome was adcled to eveıy junction point of the clome with this old architectural style. Beclestan has four gates. The first one is İncieller Gate which opens to the jewelers; seecmd one is Sahaflar Gate which opens to the rug sellers; thiı·cl is Zenneciler Gate which opens to Beyazıt anel fouıth is Kalancılar Gate which is full of fumiture stores at the moment. Inside of the Bedestan is completecl with the wood promenade which is built in orcler to open anel close the windows which are at the same level of d1e domes. After the conquest of İstanbul, Bedestan was given to Hagia Sophia anel acceptecl as an auction arena. When it was decided to be used as a market, it was embellishecl with drawers anel engravecl cabinets built on all four sides. Fuıtheımore, woocl writing boards were put up high.” Osman Nuri Engin, who is known as one of the knowleclgeable people about
İstanbul and whose books are a big contribution to our nationallibraıy, gives the exact mımbers mentioned above and says that this building is a Byzantine structure on the topic of Bedestan which he wrote for Islam Encyclopedia. However, from the Office of Topkapİ Palace Museum, retired Tahsin Öz does not accept the idea of the Bedestan being a Byzantine structure. He writes the following in his Grand Bazaar’s Histoıy aı1icle published in Illustrated Histoıy Magazine: The Act of Fatih Foundation demonstı·ates us that a bedestan with a hundred and eighteen trunks and eight ht.ındred and fony nine surraunding shops was built. Including these numbers, there were about to three thousand shops of the foundation built in various places of İstanbul. The eagle picture on the inner gate of the Bedestan caused the ıumors that the structere was inherited from Byzantine. However, simlicity of the construction and materials in this building demonstı·ate that it is a Turkish stıcıcture. Eagle figures were also used at the times of Seljuks. That is why this picture stone might be a remainder of the constıuction. Architect Ekrem Hakkı Ayverdi who is an expen and authoıity on Turkish architecture indicates the Old Bedestan as one of Mehmed the Conqurer’s stmctures in his imponant book called “The Architecture of Mehmed the Conqurer Era”. With a defınitive language that is suppoıted by his own measurements and specialization in the field, he expresses d1at d1e measurements of d1e building mentioned in the above paragraphs which were based on the writings of various wıiters were incoıTect as he gives the most accurate measurements. The lin es below are extracted from the book “The Architecture of Mehmed the Conqurer Era”
The Architecture of Mehmed the Conqurer Era In the Old Big Bedestan, the walls are not six meters thick but one and a half; the inside is square shapecl and in the size of 45,3×29,5 =1336 meters. (Ir has fifteen clomes when viewecl from inside and outside) The small bumps outside are not clomes but feeclings the lead leaks. In the pictures taken from the tower, ir is dearly seen that that there are only fifteen clomes. Furthermore, there is absolurely no repositories underground. When we come to the question whether the buiJeling was inheritecl from Byzantine, how can we clecicle just by seeing a couple of eagle figures on one of the cloors1 We are unable to grasp that. Although Osman Nuri Ergin accepted Sandal Bedestan as a Turkish structure, what clifference does the Big Old Bedestan entitle it to be a Byzantine structure? The buiJeling is a complete Turkish structure. Sandal Bedestan is deaneel and repaired. If the Big Bedestan gets deaned, it will have the same look. The gate with the eagle picture is bicentric anel completely a lSth centuıy style Turkish gate with its low anel stone made Turkish arch below the pointed clischarging arch. Other gates are similar. The builcling’s construction and plan are completely Turkish. The arehes on the feet anel the gates which open to repositories are all pointecl Turkish arches.I clicl not see a Byzantine style molcling between the foot anel the ardı. The walls are built with single lineel bricks with vertical brick feeclings anel carry the characteristics of the Fatih Era. The rims of the domes are octagons and have plane surfaces. These rims are not seen at the Byzantine structures. Moreover, this bedestan is notlling but a bigger version of the beclestans built by Yıldırım Sultan Bayezıd in Bursa anel Çelebi Sultan Mehmed in Edirne. The wiclth of the clomes matches almost to the one in Edirne. The organization of the repositories, outer shops, diagonal clivisions in the corner shops, ventilation of repositories, windows and its arrangements are all imitateel from the Bedestan in Edirne. This figure of the double eagles which looks like a Byzantine baclge remains where it is as an example of the tolerance of Turks towarcl these clecorative motifs. It must be considerecl that if the original baclge of Byzantine was in its original place, it would not be overlookecl by the conquerors, anel they woukl throw the baclge away immediately. Kırkçeşme, one of the works of Mimar Sinan, which was locatecl across from Gazanfer Ağa School, haci a mirror stone with a relief of a couple peacocks on them. Currently this stone is locatecl in Hagia Sophia museum. We can almost imagine Mehmecl the conqueror arelering this stone to be hung after he saw this bire! on the ground during the construction of the structure. Here is a brief explanation of the builcling: This beclestan’s plan is the same as the one built in Edirne except that it has an addirional row of columns. Fifteen elomes in three rows sit on the one anel a half meters thick surraunding walls anel eight magnificent feet in the size of 4.3Sx2.45 meters. Feet are macle of face stones anel the walls are built of bricks on one line anel well-arrangecl rubble stone on anather along with perpenelicular bricks anel feeclings placed between them.
The gates are enrichecl with low marble arehes below the pointed discharging arches, which are bicentric from inside anel outside anel the wings with marble frames anel bearing systems and clecoratecl with thick chamferecl cubes or twistecl nail heacls. In the last centuries tl1ese gates are nameel Sahaflar in the north, Takkeciler in the south, Kuyumcular in the east and Zeımeciler in the west. Right after a plain molcling made out of a smail crown anel chamfer, bicentric anel slightly pointecl arehes rise until the sımıli rims of the clomes. Windows are only locatecl on the big rectangular bocly which is raller that the walls of the surrounding shops. Wood promenades are built in order to open and close these windows. An example of these promenades can be seen in Galata Bedestan. The dome rims are octagons as an example of the characteristics of Turkish structures. Inside the building, there are forty four repositories with small pointed aches (Other false opinions indicare that these repositories are inside the walls. Although there are several walls, they see it as one six meters thick wall). Here the air comes in from the highest point of its vaulted ceilings; for there is not an air system, just like the Edirne bedestan which is very similar to this one. There are fifty seven shops and twelve smail cabinets contiguous to the building. For the ones that are located near the gates, each one could say that shop is constructed by building 45 degrees inelineel diagonal compartments just !ike the ones in Edirne and four of the cabinets that we mentioneel above are placed in frontinside the building four blocks are formed by building the feet in couples. From gate to gate, two crossed shaped roads are built in addition to four in the surroundings while two rows of above and below cabinets are put in place. The number of the cabinets below the berms is four hundred twenty eight and the ones above are three hundred and twenty four. It is important to realize that below cabinets which were only a htındred and twenty eight when they were first constructed reached to four hundred and twenty eight as the centuries past. By looking at an eagle figure that has a weak foundation, there is no reason to baptize the Old Bedestan which is a Turkish stnıcture with its entire characteristic. Its construction, usa and traditions are completely Turkish.
It is essential to keep its traditions and manners the same without any corruption and expose it by deaning the dirt.”The last and definite word clearly belongs to Ekrem Hakkı Ayverdi with his architectural proofs on the building of Big Bedestan which has several names such as “Cevahir Bedestan”, “Inner Bedestan” and “Old Bedestan” in old texts. To insist on the idea that the building is a Byzantine structure after seeing this description, plan and picture would basically be “buıying the head in the sand.”
Resat Ekrem Kocus