Derüşafaka : People start to gather araund the gates by the early morning. Since the gates are opened in a specific time, they have to wait. In 1860s a Pasha mingles with this crowcl. He clecicles that these people, who were mostly illiterare kids, neecl eclucation. He thinks that they neecl to learn math, Turkish, religion anel science. He also thinks that the clamages on these misbehaving kids’ characters, which were mostly shaped by the old traclitional relations between the masters anel apprentices, can be treatecl by education. One of the purposes of the establishment of Darüşşafaka Private High School, which was establishecl for the reason of eclucating of poor chilclren, is those poor kids who waited at the cloors of the Grand Bazaar to open.
The Bird Of Bedestan : There is a district that is callecl Kazlıçeşme (fountain with goose) in İstanbul. This district’s name comes from the goose relief on a histarical fountain. When I was reading the claily newspaper in 2003, I leamecl about an inciclent at which I was surprisecl that it eli d not happen long ago. The “goose” of the fountain which gave the district its name was stolen. Now you may ask me how this inciclent relatecl to the Grancl Bazaar. There is a relief of an eagle with open wings on Kuyumcular (Jewelers) Gate which is on the east of Cevahir Beclestan in the Grand Bazaar. This is an eagle relief with opened wings which lastecl from 1461 until today. Thank God that it has not been stolen yet. TI1ose people, who stole the figures, ceramics and banners of even the most conficlential and sacred places, perhaps did not touch “our bird” as a result of same clifficulties or for the sake of the protection of this place. In his itinerary, Evliya Çelebi eleseribes the eagle figure after he talks about the four gates of Bedestan and explains the reason of the bird being there as: “the inten- tion of this wild bire! being pictured on this wall is to give a massage meaning ‘if you can hunt this bire! in clelicacy, you can make some profit in this beclestan.’ ”
Spoonmaker’s Diamond : During the period Hunter Mehmet (Mehmet IV) Bedestan made histoıy with its cliamoncl sales. “The reason of this diamoncl being known as the” spoonmaker’s diamond” is that this cliamond was found in a trash can in İğnikapı neighborhoocl by a spoon maker anel was purchasecl by some tradesman in the Bazaar. While the Prime Minister Merzifonlu Kara Mustafa Pasha who was the son-in- law of Köprülü family was trying to buy this cliamoncl, Mehmet IV paicl and bought the cliamoncl from the tradesman and put it into the treasuıy. This is the reason why this big anel very valuable diamond is callecl “Spoonmaker’s Diamond”.
The Guard Who Hungs Himself : Why is the Grand Bazaar this important? Is it because it is the brain of the economy or the heart of the tourism? Or is it because it represents us, the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey, in the most beautiful way? The Grand Bazaar is the only place where the Ottoman culture, which is adapted to the Republic, can be intensely experienced. It is possible to watch the whole countıy, its state of affairs and cultural changes from here. Foreigners realized this quality of the Grand Bazaar way before and kept it under observation. The same thing happened in the past as well. The Grand Bazaar gave the first sign and information about the problem in Iran when the Iranian fabrics stopped being sold in the Bazaar. The Bazaar gave the first signals and information on the financial affairs and the change in Ottoman currencies. The wealth of the whole Empire was displayed here. Inner Bedestan was designed as a big and well-planned safe. The wealth was protected by the building and the customs. There had been almost no robbeıy incidents in the histoıy of Grand Bazaar. In the first years of the Republic a belonging of sameone got lost. The guard of the Bedestan hung himself as a result of his grief. As a tradesman in Inner Bedestan, Rafet Yücel told the following story: We had a really good guard. One day a belonging of a tradesman got lost. Probably there was some kind of confusion but the tradesman blamed one of the guards. That guard was a person who had a lot of pride. When we came in the morning, we saw that he hung himself in front of that tradesman’s shop”. By his death, he gives a tesson to the ones who blamed him and restares his wounded pride. They did not only guard materials but guarded the spiritual wealth as well.
An Execution In Bedestan : According to a document, that I obtained from the archives of Taha Toros and whose resource is unknown, an execııtion in bedestan happerred as follows: During the history of the Foundation there had been only one reporteel robbery incident. There had been only one erime in the bedestan which was secured by guards who were depenelant on a serious continuous bailing system. As follows: “It was towards the enel of August in the year of 1754. The guards of Sandal Bedestan heard a croaky and cleep souncl of a pickaxe at night. They suspected that it was coming from one of the shops. When they broke the cloor of one of the shops, they sa w a thief who came in by drilling the clome with his pickaxe in his hand. This strong and restless young man was one of the residents of Mimar Sinan neighborhoocl. He canfessed his erime in the Supreme Court the next day. The Court sentencecl him to death. This young man was hung to the cloor of the shop he inteneleel to rob with his pickaxe araund his ne ek.” If he committecl this erime in samewhere else, perhaps he wouldn’t be sentencecl to this harsh of a punishment, however since this place was considered as the safe of the glory of the Empire, the result was disincentive. The fact that with his pickaxe the young man triecl to reach to a point, where even many disasters !ike earthquake coulcln’t destroy, probably was consiclered as an unforgivable mistake.
The Phonnograph : The shape and the people of the Inner Bedestan keeps changing. It was 1950′s. Here is the stoıy of a phonograph from the archives of Taha Toros: “At the time the phonographs first came out, one man decided to rent one of the cabinets (shops) in the Bazaar in oı·der to seli phonographs even though he faced with eveıybody’s objections. He put a few phonographs in his cabinet and starteel playing them in order to get the customers’ attention. The teachers (traclesmen) callecl him to the guilcl and said “This place opens up with the name of Gocl anel closes with the prayer, music is forbidden here”. However the man clicl not listen to them since the teaeber clid not have as much authority in the Bazaar as they usecl to. The board went to the police station for help. However, their reply was “Trading is allowed, there is nothing we can do.” just when they thought they lost this battle, one of the traclesmen nameel Deli (Crazy) Mustafa told them to leave this job to him and he was able to get this man out of the bedestan. The next day Deli Mustafa brought a big drum anel hung it samewhere in his cabinet (shop). Wbenever the phonograph seller starteel playing the phonograph because a custoıner caıne to his shop, Deli Mustafa starteel playing his drum at the same time. No one could hear the phonograph because of the sound of the drum. When they askecl Deli Mustafa what he was cloing, he answerecl “Isn’t trading allowecl? I am showing the drum.” A few days later, the phonograph seller left the beclestan because he realized that there was no way he could keep up with Deli Mustafa.” When we talked to gramophone seller Mehmet Efendi later on, he talkecl about this inciclent with saclness. Phonographs were brought to our country before gramophones and provicled us to listen to the histarical voices of the past. However the approach of the traclesmen towards phonographs was not positive.