Grand Bazaar Of The Associations and Presidents

In the Ottoman era, there was not any problem in the administration of the Bazaar. All of the problems were taken care of by the Akhism and Guild organizations. Besides, these organizations, which were under the supervision of the government, had highly democratic structures. Each tradesmen group was affiliated with a Guild Association, and they each selected their representatives and then informed him to the palace. The palace ran a background check on him, and then made him an official. The people who live in İstanbul can stili remember d1e traditional and unofficial examples of these stewards from the people who are called buders. The Guilds had all the authority to handie the problems of the tradesmen. They even had the aud1ority to intervene in the excessive consumption of d1e society. For instance, considering the needs of the whole country, they used to detennine the amount of raw material need for the leather dealers, who were only allawed to trade and manufacture in a certain area, and would not let them have more than the amount they appointed. Furthermore, they used to check the retait prices to prevent unjust competition and excessive profit.

At the end of the oppressive Abdülhamit period, the freedam which was granted to the society led manipulative behaviors in the Bazaar as well in many other areas. For instance, the theft of money from the provident fund, from which the needy tradesmen and people benefited, is a good example of the corruption at the time. The mistakes of the manipulative people had angered the Union and Progress committee and caused the end of the Guild Associations in 1913.

As the Bazaar, which represents the whole city, is in the hands of a local unofficial administration, its problems add up everyday. The new big shopping malls, which built more bridges between them and their customers’ everyday, do not have such a problem. They belong to the Republic era and they have their own administrations to take care of their issues. On the other hand, d1e Grand Bazaar was established 550 years ago, and has had no authority other than its traditional organizations. The changes in the trades- men’s traditional structures started to counteract these enforcements. After the Guild Associations were closed, the tradesmen established an organization named Umran. After a while, in 1926, this organization along wiili the od1er small ones joined to form ilie Grand Bazaar Foundation.

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