Markets, covered or uncovered, have always been the most active anel colorful side of social life. These markers are the arenas for social and economic life. Some sales booths are chirpy anel some just wait quietly for their loyal customers. Some local, industrial anel hancl-maele proclucts line up on the shelves anel one can not teli where each of these products comes from. Many craftsmen macle their masterpieces surroundec.l with these commodities while many other craftsnıen talked quietly with each other in front of the clisplay windows. Markets were established as institutions that give clynamism to society life. They playeel an İnıportant role in the unclerstanc.ling of the urbanism that came with experience of people of old times. In the Turkish-Muslim İstanbul, there was an amazing connection between home, market, school, graveyarcl, tea shops, inns anel public baths. There was an amazing link between them in people’s life. The Grand Bazaar was a ııniverse all alone. Slippers, fu rs, bracelets, earrings, clraperies, sofas, puı·ses, rugs, antique sworcls, gramophones and many others were bought and solcl in here. There were showily dressed mannequins and booties for kids in dispJay windows. The streets were chilly. Markets were called “Forum” on the streets by Romans; “Agora” by Greeks, “Marche-Bazar” by French. They used to be called “Pazar” as well. Alınost in every city of the world these markets operared claily anel seasonally.
Seljuk architecture, familiar with the Iranian anel Mesopotamian structures anel architecture, and very close to Byzantine architecture, is also seen in Ottoman architecture. This architecture technique has found its true shape with the minimalist anel logic based Ottonıan architecture and reachecl the elimax of art with Mimar Sinan whose work was aclmirecl by the whole world. Unfortunately, the characteristics of these traditional markers which are passed on from the past are destı·oyecl nowadays and structures are made out of plasters and glass, cleprived from harmony and architecture.
Although arehes and pendentives stayecl the same in the Grancl Bazaar, negligent restorations anel reparations cornıpted the Bazaar’s inner and outer architectural characteristics.
During the restorations, stones anel bricks are usecl for the construction and it gives the Bazaar a less appealing outlook. Especially, uneven penclentives in comers clisfigure the look.
Although İstanbul loses its unique atnıosphere slowly, it is stili one of the most gripping cities in the world in terms of architectural structures. W e canıe to this decision about the architectural structures inciueling the Bazaars. Among all other bazaars, the Grand Bazaar is especially impoıtant. During the Ottoman era, the market site was located in Beyazıd, Nunıosmaniye- Galata – Üsküdar tıiangle. Hans and beclestans often appearecl inside or next to these markets.
After the conquest of İstanbul, Mehmec.l the Conqueror orclerecl to builcl a market callecl “Sultanpazan” which contained two hunclred sixty eight shops and thirty two cabins; Saraçlar Market which containecl hunclrecl and ten shops was built in the fielcls that the current Fatih City Hall builcling stanc.ls on. While Saraçlar Market was a developecl house of art until quite recently, it got partly mineel with the fire in Fatih anel later on the rest of it was clemolishecl. Two hunclrecl sixty three shops were built in Mahmud Paşa. Towarcls the enel of the 15th century, thirty five shops callecl “Beylik” were built arouncl Saraçhanebaşı Mimar Ayas Mosque along with shops anel markers under the names of Darphane, Kirişhane, Unkapanı Market, Tabakhane, Silahhane, Bakırcılar Market, Balık Market, Odun Market, Dikilitaş Market, Ayasofya (Hagia Sofia) Market were constructed in several location in the city. The bazaaı-s of that tiıne ıuere ı’egistered in 17Je Foundation qf Me h med the Conqueror.
It is the biggest coverecl Bazaar in İstanbul anel stancls on the northwest of the second anel third hills of the city clowntown markers site. The structure art of the Grancl Bazaar inclentifies the city life with Turkish-Islam characteristics, not with Europe (Roman-Byzantine). The Grancl Bazaar has been through many changes from the day it was establishecl. One century ago, there were two beclestans, one public bath, twelve strong rooms, one nıosque, ten smail mosques, two water tanks with fountains, one public fountain, sixteen clrinking fountains, one tomb, eight wells with pumps, twenty inns, one school, four thousanel three hundred ninety nine shops, two thousanel one hunclreel ninty five cabins in sixty streets of the bazaar. Toclay, there is one mosque, one smail mosque, twenty one inns, two bedestans, seven elrinking fountains, one well, one public fountain, one water tank with fountain, three thousancl three hunclrecl shops. It has eighteen gates in total. Eight of these gates are big anel ten of them are smail. At the time of Mehmecl the Conqueror, there were nine hunclred fifty shops. In 1461, the Grancl Bazaar was built with the orcler of Mehmecl the Conqueror in order to provicle safety anel regulations for the merchants befoı·e he anel his army left İstanbul to conquest Trabzon. The Bazaar was expanded during the era of Suleiman the Magnificent and construction with the current plan in 1701. With its markets, the Bazaar is a covereel neighborhoocl with sixty five streets. Before the electricity wiring was installecl, big oil lamps were lightening the Bazaar. One century prior to 1453, Arab traveler Ibn Battuta who came to İstanbul with a big caravan arrangecl by the Kipchak Chief Özbey Khan anel stayecl for thirty six clays. He talks about an old bazaar in that area. The Grancl Bazaar was bumeel clown by fire five times. The 1546-1651 fires were massive. The 1894 earthquake anel especially 1954 fire which elestı·oyeel more than half of the Bazaar mineel the essential customs of the structural elements. Kalpakçılar, Örücüler anel Kuyumcular area which was ruined by the 1894 earthquake was again repaired. During these reparations some columns were removecl from some streets anel the Bazaar was scalecl elown after drastic restorations. Çaelırcılar anel Kürkçüler gates were removecl; Dua anel Bat markets, Yorgan anel Koltukçular gates which useel to be inner gates were turned into outer gates. Sarnıçlı Inn, Paçavracı Inn, Ali Paşa Camii Inn that usecl to be locateel inside of the Bazaar, were left outside. Restaration Epigraph is hung on the top of the Nuruosmaniye Gate. After the earthquake in 1894, the Bazaar stayeel doseel for a while anel sonıe of the traclesmen moved to the place behincl the Arpacılar Avenue and Egyptian Market. As a result of this move, inns anel market sites were establishecl in those areas. A more favorable market was establishecl for these shops so they did not ret:urn to their original places even though the Grancl Bazaar was being renovatecl. The fire which happenecl on November 26th, 1954 was the biggest fire in the history of the Grancl Bazaar anel it ruinecl a wide field which incluclecl Kalpakçılarbaşı, Bitpazarı, Yorgancılar, Yağlıkçılar, Sahaflar markets. After that, it was repaired again.Doors are closed by the gate guards at 7:00pm. To protect the Bazaar, fifty guards walk around the Bazaar until morning time similar to the way as it was centuries ago.
The Grand Bazaar is 30,702 square meters large. Inside the Bazaar, there are paı1ly and mostly ruined inns which should be considered as the interior of the Bazaar by means of opening their gates. Surraunding inns !ike Kürkçü, Çuhacı, Yolgeçen, Baltacı, Alipaşa, Pastırmacı, Zincirci, Sepetçi, Bodrum, Astarcı, Kebeci, and Perdahcı are worth inspecting at length. Once, there was an inn with three hundrecl rooms for slave trade in this Bazaar and it was callecl “Esirhane”. This inn was by the Kürkçüler section. As you can see the gravure by T.Allom on the back of our book, it was allawed to pass through the Grand Bazaar by horse but not by car. Only during the time of Abdtılaziz (the first half of the 19th centuıy) the chains were removecl for the car of Napoleon the 3rd’s wife who was a guest in Beylerbeyi Palace. The Grand Bazaar is almost !ike a city in İstanbul with its post office, restaurants, banks, cafes, fountains, shops, tea shops, small mosques, beclestans and a wide shopping activity. Cevahir Beclestan is the most attractive place for foreigners. There are four bedestans in İstanbul. Two of these beclestans are locatecl in the Grand Bazaar, anather one is in Galata and the last one is in Üsküclar square. In 1959 Üsküclar Bedestan was ruined and destı·oyed duıing the opening of Üsküclar square. Later on, at the end of 1964 the hospice anel oven which bakes wheat breaci in orcler to help the poor staı1ed being restored. It is an especially woı1h-seeing stıı.tcture.