Master Müslüm has personality which is loved and respected by eveıyone in Cebeci Inn. If he was absent for a while because of a minor sickness, all of his neighbours would staıt to worıy and his absence would be noticed immediately. Actually, it is not possible to mention all of Master Müslüm’s works and professional life here. Just !ike other hard work masters, his life stoıy can be a novel. However, I just wanted to pass on some of his stories with his own words and open a door for the ones who would !ike to write something more detailed about him. “Our first master was Master Emin. He used to carve pictures, gravures, and calligraphy on a painted copper plate by using a burin. He initiated this business. You can’t see the works we had done in 1960s and 70′s nowadays. Back then, we even had different branches. For instance, one person would only work on Ottoman clothes, another one would work with half painting and half engraving technique. Our works were popular in the souvenir market. W /e weren’t able to keep up with the orders. Since it was handiwork, it was demanding and time consuming” ”Our job stili does not have an exact name. Some people confuse it with making reliefs but it is not. Our job is this: Copper plate gets cleaned with sandpaper and other materials. Then, it is painted with black paint. Then, on the plate, we draw the outlines of whatever we want. After that, using a steel nib we engrave all the details of the picture on the plate. When this process is over, we varnish to protect the plate and avoid oxidation. This is the whole process in shoıt. However, it is highly difficult to work on the details. We do what a painter does with his brush by using a burin. We only use lines. With the combination of these lines, the picture is foımed. In a portrait, the lines both give the meaning and the shade.” “Our job is not well-known. Since we have worked in these little workshops in inns for years we were unable to introduce our art to Turkey and to the world. Our art never had a certain name.
Everybody gave it a different name. But at the end of the 46 years, I think that this aıt must be nam ed.” “Recently, some printed works came out to take the easy way as a result of the fewer numbers of craftsmen who are able to do the real work. Therefore, people who don’t know about this art ask if ours are printings too. At one time, there were fine arts students who used to perform this art as a supplementary work. Indeed, there was a friend of ours who mastered in this art and produced perfect works. He was the best in making portraits. He was a medical student when he started. He performed this art for years and he spent most of this time doing this craft rather than his medical studies. Dr. Erdoğan Kayaalp retired as a doctor but he never thought of retiring from this job.” “I started to do this business in 1962 as an apprentice. In time, I established my own workshop. I tried to reflect what I had learned from my masters to my work. I not only had done my works for domestic market, but also exported them. My first big exportation was in 1976, to the USA on the occasion of the country’s 200th Independence Day. Later on, I exported my works to many other countries in the world. I had done portraits of the most of the prorninent leaders of the world. I ma de the portraits of King Fahd of Saudi Arabia and his family. I was personally invited by King Fahd.” “It is hard to summarize the story of forty six years at once. W e are in 2008 now. We have worked for years with a motivation of financial success. We have made great products but after all this is art. Because of the slow business we started facing some problems. I am highly experienced in this work.
I have worked as an apprentice and a master. Unfortunately, there are no new followers of this art. That is the reason why this art is coming to an end. So far, only poı1raits and paintings in smail sizes were engraved. Recently, I am in the process of trying something new. From now on, I don’t bother about the financial concerns. I am only working for promoting my aı1 which I do with pleasure. Now I am working on a big copper plate. This has never been done before. I am engraving pictures onto big copper plates by using a steel nib. I first engraved old İstan bul images. I call this style “COMBING”. I will take my work to the University to ask for help. They may want to call this art something else. Also, I would !ike to open a gallery to display the plates I engraved. For years, I have been asked to open one. I think the time has come.
Watchmen : As we talk about the people of the Grancl Bazaar, we can not continue without mentioning the watchmen who put up with many troubles here. We have mentioneel before that the Grancl Bazaar’s wealth is protectecl uncler special laws. We also explained how two burglaıy inciclents, which took place inside anel outside the Grancl Bazaar, were evaluateel clifferently anel how the punishment of stealing something in the Bazaar was heavier than tlıe otlıer. As we mentioneel before, tlıe watchmen were subjecteel to a special law anel a bailing system. W e also knew tlıat these proucl anel trustwoıthy watchınen were sensitive enough to commit even suicicle in the cause of their honor. As the new law turns the occupation of watchmanship to a histoıy, tlıese old and loyal watchmen of the Bazaar are now approaching towards the enel of their jobs. When I heard that there was a stoıy about the traclesmen, which was tolcl by the watchmen, I investigatecl the source of this infoımation. I woulcl !ike to share with you tlıe book; “Stoıy of Traclesmen”, which talks about the streets anel the occupations in the Bazaar, just to point out the impoıtance of watchı11en in our lives, who are abour to be histoıy
.Compiled By Muhtar Yahya Dagli : The inciclents anel the buildings in old stoıies are tlıe live anel noble plaques of histoıy, wıitten in tlıe literaıy language of İstanbul, since they show tlıe feelings anel tlıe life style of tlıe people two centLııies ago. Some of tlıese anonymous anel unclatecl stories are pıintecl as litlıographs anel fıllecl witlı some rough images. Here, we have acideel tlıe litlıographs, along witlı tlıe hanclwıitten stoıies from tlıe journal of Ali Emiri Efendi locatecl at tlıe Millet Library in Fatih.
Bedestan : Is the place currently known as the Grand Bazaar; it consists Old and New Bedestan, Sandal Bedestan and various other market places, in which different tradesmen do their trading. Even though all of these sections are integrared into each other and are a part of a whole called the Grand Bazaar, some parts are stili mentioned with their individual names in some situations. Indeed, in two of our stories, these bedestans were differentiated and deseribed as two different places. According to this differentiation; the Inner bedestan, also called the Old Bedestan or Jewelry Bedestan, whose stoıy is given below, has four symmetric entrances and currently antiques are sold here. Just !ike in the banks now, the old Bedestan used as a deposit box. For that reason, there are cabinets and secure places. The tradesmen, the rich in İstanbul or anyone who was away used to put their jewelıy and money in these deposit boxes located in this Bedestan, in return of a smail fee. They would keep a copy of the key of the box while giving the other copy to an officer in Bedestan. When one needed to take their custody, both keys had to be presented simultaneously. Since these stories have a history of about two hundred years, and they talk about sirnilar incidents as the other stories, during the description of this bedestan, the information on safe deposit boxes full of jewelry, and on miscellaneous items, such as gold and silver candleholders, cassolettes, zibeline furs, jewelled swords, hardware sets, sold in Bedestan correlates not only with Evliya Çelebi’s statement: “The Bedestan is full of jewelıy and expensive goods” but also with the statement of Chief Clerk of İstanbul, Osman Ergin’s article under the title of Bedestan at the Encyclopedia of Islam, Volume 2. Even today, at this Bedestan, except fabrics, many kinds of miscellaneous items of Eastern arts !ike candie holders, cassolettes, swords; daggers are sold, supposedly as a continuation of the old tradition.
Sandal Bedestan : It is located in the Bedestan market, which we call the Covered or Grand Bazaar, and is currently being used as an auction hall by İstanbul Municipality. On the page 617 of Evliya Çelebi’s Book of Travel vol.l, it is written that in this Bedestan, unlike the Inner (or Jewelry) Bedestan where only jewelıy was being sold, clothing and silk goods were sold. The epic poem below mentions that fabrics from poorest quality to the highest, fabrics like Telli Hatayi, a wool fabric called Pesmeni, örenşahi, sof (raw silk), and asafi brocades were being sold in this bedestan. In the Encyclopedia of Islam, vol. 2, pg. 441, Osman Ergin explains tl1at in this Bedestan, there were not any safe deposit boxes or cellars to hide money like the ones in the inner Bedestan. However, after the place got confiscated by the City of İstanbul, during the constructions and renovations done in order to turn the Bedestan into an auction hall, he saw with his own eyes that there were many holes, in which large jars could fit, that were filled with dirt. He implies that these jars must be similar to the ones preserved in the inner treasure room of the Topkapı Palace. He also explains that there were about three hundred abandoned safes, in which the traders and the rich used to keep their money and valuables. There is no information on these holes in the epic poem. However, it is clearly stated that the Bedestan was a market place where the precious fabrics were being sold. In many aıticles, it is stated tl1at this building does not belong to Byzantines.