This bedestan is located in a place which can be called the middle of the Grand Bazaar. It is a building which is surraundeel with a 1.50 meter thick wall and covered with fifteen clomes on the top. If it is measurecl from inside, the length of the bedestan is 45 3 meters and the width is 29.5 meters. The bedestan covers an area of one tlıousand three hundred thirty six square meters. It has four gates which open to Keseciler, Takkeciler, Sahaflar anel Kuyumcular streets in the Grancl Bazaar. The shops on those streets are lineel from one enel to another. The building is a 15th centı..They Turkish pıcture with its construction materials, characteristics and Turkish style arches. It was built by Mehmed the Conqueror anel the shops were built as a source of ineome by the wealthy people of the time. The streets which surraundeel this bedestan building was coverecl on the top anel became one of the biggest Turkish bazaars. Although its name was “Mücevher, Cevahir Beclestan” at first, it got the name “İnner Beclestan” after it was built. As the centuries passecl, it starteel to be callecl “Old Beclestan”.
The shops inside of these beclestans have no cloors. That is the reason why they are callecl “Trunks” or “Cabinets”. Items were clisplayecl in glass showcases anel kept in trunks. Same of the veıy valuable items or jewelries were kept in the repositories with strong cloors which were built inside the four main walls of the building. Here is a citation from Mr. Tahsin Öz who is retireel from the Office of Topkapı Palace Museum: “In the Charter of Mehmed the Conqueror, the buiider of the Bedestan, it states that one bedestan with a hundred and eighteen cabinets and eight htmclrecl anel forty nine shops araund this beclestan were built as the first shops of the Grancl Bazaar.” In Beclestan, a Byzantine banner of double eagles is seen on the gate that opens to Kuyumcular Street. This banner confused same of the unautho- rized writers and made them think that the beclestan was a Byzantine structure … As the clear proof above shows, this banner was taken from same place and put on the gate as an ornament. Builclings relate to the histoıy through structural characteristics anel quality, not through a decorative ornament. Anather noticeable place in the Old Eectestan in which shops without doors hicle treasures is the wood path or corridor with banisters on the sicles. It goes all the way araund anel with the same level as the windows above the walls. This is the place for armecl night guarcls who wait over these shops without cloors. When the tradesmen close the trunks, cabinets, shops and leave at night, the gates of beclestan are lockeel by the men of the butler and again openecl in the morning. Just !ike the other tradesmen, butlers are also appointecl by the government.
A butler is an official employee who is responsible from the circumstances in bedestan. In Olcl-Inner Beclestan- Mücevher Eectestan antique precious firearms, which had histarical value anel were clecorated with jewelıy, was said along with jewelıy. However, Old Bedestan should not be considered as a market that sells firearms. The firearms which could be afforded by anyone were sold in a separate market called “Arasta”. This famous market was located araund Sultanahmed. This market was doseel after the removal of Janissaries and after a short period of time it was taken down anel turned into a road. Anather important property of Old-Inner Bedestan just !ike the others in each of our big cities is that it senred as a bank during the times when the organizations called “banks” were not establishecl. People commencled their savings to jewelry merchants who were well-known anel honest in return of a deposit slip; those savings were actuated with a smail amotınt of interest which was legitimate and allawed by the Islamic law. By ciaing so, merchants and the owners would benefit from these valuable belongings. People alsa rented trunks which were placed in repositories inside the bedestan in areler to keep the valuable belongings and jewelries. The owner would put his things and an important paper !ike a title eleeel in the trı..ınk before the eyes of the butler of bedestan, lock the trunk anel keep the key. If he wanted to open the trı..ınk again, he had to follow the same proceclure.