The number of porters is three hundred. Their leader is Peygam Ali who is from Selman which is in Tabriz. These porters give service outside the bedestan and do not come in from the four chained gates of the bedestan, but only help the tradesmen outside. Every night they carry tradesmen’s tı·unks and merchandises to the outside repositories of d1e bedestan in case of fire. All of the outside shops stay empty because all the shop owners stay far away from d1eir shops at night. They can be seen with their basket on their backs, robes on their hands and swords hangeel on their waists in any military troops or tradesmen groups. The leader of peddlers is Ebunnida. These are trustvvorthy anel experiencecl people who work inside the bedestan and do not go out. They carıy precious things, sworcls, guns, furs, inexpensive, plain dothes on their shoulders in the crowcl.”Although Evliya Çelebi deseribed the tradesmen of Bedestan as wealthy people and referred peddlers as trustwoıthy men, in 17th centuıy, an edict from the Supreme Cmırt about the bedestan people, talks about the chicaneries of the tradesmen anel peclcllers bitterly; here is the version of d1e eclict changecl according to the current literary language: “Accorcling to the arbitrament of the judge of İstanbul and administrator of Hagia Sophia, Beclestan belongs to Hagia Sophia. There are peclcllers anel traclesmen who coliaborate to deceit the people of Beclestan who give their goods to peclcllers to seli them. Some Muslim anelheretic traclesmen pretencl to bicl on the goocl given by ilie owner to ilie paclcller. However, they only bicl on the goocl until a certain price which is lower than its value. Pedcllers also know this situation anel collaborate with the traclesmen.
After d1e auction encls, these traclesmen take the goocl to another auction anel seli it for more price anel share the profit. A tradesman buys a goocl from a peclcller for five h undreel coıns anel selis it to another peddler for five hundred and fifty coıns ın oı·der to keep the money which belongs to the owner of the goocl. This situatıon was askecl to the muftı. Accordıng to the muftı’s fatwa, these actions are forbiclden by religion, these people must be punishecl anel their shops must be taken away by the administrator and given to the ones with right behaviors. He 191 also said that the butlers who knew about the actions of these tradesmen are unfaithful. I am arelering you to be careful about iliis matter after my order reaches. Teli this fatwa to the previous butlers anel guarcls of the beclestan, anel Jet them know strongly mat no one is going to deceit anyone anymore. Whoever clefraucls after this aclmonition, if he is a shop owner, his shop will be taken away, and he will be punished according to the religious law. Recorcl this edict anel always behave according to its arbitrament. Ramadan 15, 981 Qanuaıy 8, 1574)”At the end of the 18th centluy irony master Sururi, explained the tradesmen of d1e inner bedestan using the irony technique. At that time the shops in the inner bedestan were called “cabinets with doors” and the tradesmen were called “teachers” O teacher! People usecl to shop from you in beclestan Even though all of your work was behincl the cloorsı About the situation of the old big Bedestan, M. Z. Pakalin writes the foliowing in his “Dictionary of Histarical Ottoman Idionıs and Terms” book: “
There are two qualities that separate the Old and New Bedestans from the other paıts of the Grand Bazaar: 1-These two bedestans open Iate in the nıornings and closes at micl-afternoon. 2-The tradesmen of these bedestans are called “Teachers” Supposedly, iliese shop cabinets were built for class teachers to nıake thenı eam their livings. That was the reason why the traclesmen there were callecl “teachers”. After they taught their classes, they would come to the Bedestan a couple hours before noon and spencl most of their time studying. It is also said that they built the high cabinets which were elimbed only by a Iadeler in oı·der to put their study books in iliem. This Beclestan openecl Iate because the business owners,traclesmen anel merchants were wealthiest of all and iliey die! not have to open their shops early !ike the orclinaıy traclesmen and merchants. The matter of dosing the Bedestan early was beeause of the same reason in adelition to the faet that the beelestan was more glooıny anel darker than the other parts of the Bazaar. Besieles, the kinel and the quality of merehandise required a speeial proteetion. Urging the foreigners leave the buiJeling by an early clasure was another seeurity ıneasure. The teaehing proeedures and the advaneements of the teaehers’ were stated in the laws and orders; there is no sigh of peınıit to let teaehers work as ınerehants in bedestan. A group of eighteen managers was foımed to obtain good seeuıity in Bedestan and work as peddlers during the auetions. Two offieers, one is ealled “Nanpareei” and the other one is “Küçük Ağa”, were appointeel to them as supeıvisors. These twelve men were guarantors for eaeh other and if any one of theın had got of the group, eaeh of them would have been given the ediet to hire a new member by their own ehoiee anel guaranty. Then, twelve eriers woulcl have been aelelecl to the group. There were also guards nameel “Pasban”. Traelesmen, eriers and guarels useel to come in miel-morning. When the Grand Bazaar openeel, they woulel knock on the İneiciler gate anel ery “Come to pray” to let the guards and people who offered independent seıvices get in anel get out. After traclesmen anel people came in, they used to fonn a line in front of the guardianship cabinet. A manager nameel “Prayer” who was rankecl the most senior after the leaeler of the guards, would pray for the safety anel healthiness of the Sultan anel the army anel ask Goel’s mercy for the souls of the people of bedestan who passed away. Fuıthermore, they would say the “Selatentüncina” prayer and then they would staıt the auction after the warning: “no one will cheat, no one will keep the entire profit to oneself, no one will trade without a guarantor” addressing the peddlers. Merchanclise which are valued for more than 10,000 piasters, were auctioned on Thursdays. The peddlers who served in these auctions were called “Criers of Peace”. Goods were anetioneel until noon. If the owner of the item would leave without waiting, after the noon prayer, it would be sold with the owner’s approval for the last bidcling price. The doors were lockeel after eveıyone left in the evening. Only İnciciler Gate stayed half open with a guard in front until eveıyone leaves the Bazaar; undemeath the big cabinets there, the trı..ınks, which were left in the evenings and picked up in the mornings by the jewelers, were placed. After that, the last door would also be closed. The captain guard and his helper would search the whole Bedestan with their guns and a thick stick in their hancls. After they were convinced that there were no one left in Bedestan, they would go anel sit. Until the moming, they would wait with their hands on their guns anel listen the smailesr souncl. When the banks did not exist, people would leave their trunks (or safes) which contained their valuable goocls, jewelries or money in the Bedestan and get a receipt for it. When the owner comes, the owner anel a guard would go to the repository in which the trunk is locatecl. The owner woulcl take or put whatever he wanted while the guard waitecl on the sicle. Following that, the owner woulcl lock the trunk, put a seal on it and show the seal to the guard.
20 % of the merchanclise protection wage belongecl to the captain of the guarcls, while the rest was appoıtionecl equally between the ll guarcls.”M. Z. Pakalın, whose book woulcl mean a lot even if it only containecl the topics of the cleterminecl issues, die! not show any foundation to the information he proposed above. Most of that information is taken word to word from “the Cyclopeclia of Old Structures” by Nureelelin Rüşdü Büngül. Finally, his name was mentioneel at the enel in the following paragraph:”Nureclclin Rüşclü Büngül, who is nowadays known for his knowledge about old structures, gives valuable information uncler the title of beclestan in his “the Encyclopeclia of Old Structures” book. The first organization was formeel by teachers who received the teaeber allowances anel graclually left the trade. Strong men with rouncl beaı·ds, white turbans anel furs took their place anel a guilcl nameel “Old Beclestan anel Four Sicles Trade Guild” was formed by them. In the lOth centuıy of the Muslim calenclar (12th centuıy in the Gregorian calenclar) all of the big bails would take place and merchants who were trusteel by the authority woulcl occur in the beclestan. Because of the fact that the people of the bedestan were veıy elever and smart, they would invite the important eliplamats !ike the aclministrators, viziers anel the wealthy people who woulcl come to Beclestan everyclay before noon anel purchase weasel furs, shawls macle of Inciian silk, valuable clishes, enamelecl smıff boxes, rubies and emeralds.”
While I was publishing the Grand Bazaar magazine, I received same news. Thereupon, I visited Taha Toros and had the chance to meet him. Mr. Toros, who is a seeret treasure of many documents and data that are hidden in the past, told me that he examined the magazines and wanted to share with me the documents he got about the Grand Bazaar. In the Grand Bazaar magazine, I published same of this information which I did not come across anywhere else. However, I had the urge to put the information I have left into this book so that none of them would be lost after me. These documents were published as articles but most of their authors, publishing places and dates are unknown. But, I believe that it is the right thing to do to pass on this information as it is for the sake of the importance of the Grand Bazaar when we consider the Zack of information we have about it.
In these documents there is information about the streets of the Grand Bazaar and the shops including the disasters that happened during its history and their results.
Resat Ekrem Kocus