Streets Of The Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar was seriously damaged by the 1894 İstanbul earthquake and as a result, required anather drastic restoration. During this restoration, Bazaar was minimized by eliminating some parts of it. Çadırolar and Kürkçüler Gates were completely eliminated and Dua, Bat markets along with Yorgancılar and Koltukçular gates were turned into outer gates. Furthermore, Sarnıçlı Inn and Paçavracı Inn which were inside of the Bazaar before, were left out and Yolgeçen Inn’s gate was opened outside. In Inner Bedestan of  old times same streets anel same parts of these streets were nameel after the occupations of the tradesmen whose shops were located there.


Sahaflar-Booksellers: After entering the current Bazaar from the gate by the jewelers, this part was on the road that goes to the right gate. All the bookshops of İstanbul were lineel here. It was possible to find the most precious manuscripts there.
Örücüler-Knitters: This place was nameel the way it was because there usecl to be tai!oı·s right in front of the gate which openecl to Mercan hill who altereel anel repairecl ripped fabrics, any kinci of damaged men and women dothes without showing the seam. Taelay this place is stil! calleel “Örücüler Gate”.
İgciler-Spinners: The traclesmen who solcl spinners anel crochet hooks to rove wool and thread were locateel on the next street from the Örücüler section. That is the reason why this seetion is nameel “İğciler”
Kaipakcilar-Cap Ma.kers: This place is called with the same name even taday. Here there were nıanufacturers who make caps from weasel and sheep skins.
Kürkcüler-Fur Sellers: It was right next to the Kalpakçılar market. All of the fur seliers in İstanbul were centereel here. In this place the most pleasant furs !ike Naffe, Bobcat, Cılgava, Maıten, Rabbit, Weasel and Feyyum aleıng with “Duckheacl” fur which was maele of feathers pluckeel from a thousanel clucks’ heads were manufactureel.
Yaglikcilar: They were gathered in one seetion of the Bazaar. Ready- maele unclerwear, unclerpants, undershirts ete. used to be called “Yağlık” all together. In addition, bath sets from Bursa, rentable wedding gowns, cotton shirting that was woven in Trabzon, linen shirting that was woven in Kastamonu and cloths with silk edges from Şile were sold in here. 


Kaytancilar: They were right next to Yağlıkçılar. Silk and gold braids, buttons for arms and collars of garments were manufactured in these shops here.
Fermenciler: Fermene which is a kind of embroidery made by silk and gold braids was located in a seetion right next to Kaytancılar.
Zanneciler: If one entereel the bedestan from the Kuyumcular gate and went straight on, he would arrive ina seetion called “Zenneciler”. In this part of the Bazaar, different kinds of apparel and decoration items could be found. The most valuable bedeling sets, gold embroidered shams, Kayseri, Bukhara and Persian rugs, most expensive Indian silks and shawls from Lahore were being sold here.
Kinumcular-Jewelers: Jewelers along with designers who designeel jewelry and gold made inlays and silver dishes were sold on this market. Even today the artisans who do the same craftsmanship in this seetion which is still called the same as it used to take an important place in the Grand Bazaar.
Sorhuccular: They were located on the right hand side of Kalpakçılar. In the rooms of Sorguççu Inn, the rarest feathers of the most beautiful birds were collected and plumes for the sultan and prince were manufactured by the craftsmen. According to the result of an enumeration in the 18tl1 century, there were four thousand three hundred ninety nine shops, two thousand one hundred and ninty five rooms, one public bath, four hundred seventy nine cabinets, one mosque, nineteen fountains, eight wells, twenty four inns, two restaurants and one school under d1e roof of d1is Bazaar. Even today the GRAND BAZAAR resembles a city. The fact that the impoıted European fabrics had a big market in the midelle of the 19th century brought the trade of hand woven local fabrics to a halt. As a result of this, Sandal fabrics and shops which sold them became histoıy one by one. Under these circumstances only the tradesmen who sold rugs and antiques were left in “Sandal Bedestan”. In the year of 1914 “Sandal Bedestan” was purchased by İstanbul City Hall and turned into a public auction place. The GRAND BAZAAR which playeel a big role in İstanbul’s social life and became one the most amusing places in İstanbul had been thorough a big fire and on September 9, 1943 and Yarımtaş Inn along with Yeşiltulumba, Mütevelli, Sarıhasan streets were bumeel down. As a result of d1e fire which staıted in the fumishers’ section, two hundred and two bumeel shops were determined. During the big fire, that starteel on November 26, 1954 and is considered one of the biggest fires in İstanbul, the GRAND BAZAAR was completely destroyed except d1e five centuries old walls and its dome. One thousand three hundred and sixty four shops were bumeel away as a result of this fire. Seven shops were also bumeel downin 1957 fire. By looking the advertisements on the back of this newspaper article, I figured out that this article, which I could not find the publishing place, date or the author of, from the documents that I got from the archives of Taha Toros, is from the ends of 1954. However, it must be realized that the sources and accuracy of this data are unknown. I am quoting this information with the intention of showing that this data was published and can be analyzed if needed.

“In the Sllth and the following pages of the book “Constantinople” written by Scarlatos Byzantios, it states: The Grand Bazaar is built onto an area of the first and second hills”
“Tournefort says that the Grand Bazaar became brighter after the renovations in 1698.”
“Byzantine histarian Ducas callecl bedestan or bezazistan “Vestiopratriya”. Palace Minister Kodinos Porfiropoliyon mentions Sandal Bedestan as Cevahir Bedestan and says that the gold dish factories and the ınint of the Empire were burned away with a stroke of lightening in 785.

Histarian Kodinos says that Byzantine’s guns decorated with jewelries and other valuable good were sold in the Grand Bazaar. In addition, Byzantine chronicler Teofan says that the residence of Arab caliph Amir’s envoy was located in the same area.”
In 1546, before Bedestan was burned, P. Gyllius stated that he saw forty five marble columns which held the chambers made with bricks and an adorned aqueduct. He also mentions that this place could be the city hall building called Nihfeon which was built by prefect Klearehas during the times of Byzantine Emperor Valens.”
In the 330th page of the book “The Tourists’ İstanbul” by Ernest Mambouıy: ‘The Grand Bazaar is probably one the most worthy places to see in İstanbul. It is almost !ike a city that is covered with domes. There are guards at each gate, dean anel well-maintainecl roacls, narrow streets which lie between many smail shops that sel! many kincls of goocls, road junctions that are clecoratecl with columns and clark corriclors.” ‘In some shops, clusty antiques that are placecl masterly make the antique fans covet. In some others there is a clump of rugs, furniture, shoes anel fabrics that are surrounded by people from every class who gather quietly when they hear the loucl voices of the sellers. In 1461(865), during the times of Mehmecl the Conqueror, bedestan was built out of woocl just !ike the Grand Bazaar which was built during the age of Suleiman the Magnificent. They were both destı·oyed in 1651 (1060) during the times if IV. Mehmecl (Mehmecl the Hunter); they were built out of stones after that. However, due to the fact that the most part of it collapsed as a result of the earthquake on July 10th, 1894, it was rebuilt in 1898. He says that most of the artworks which are the soLıı-ce of wealth in Europe museums are from the Grancl Bazaar. İstanbul Grand Bazaar is a huge enclless structure which is doseel at night anel openecl during the day. Espacially during the Friclay prayer, traclesmen leave their slıops open and go to the prayer. This place is full of open shops anel workshops, but who guarcls them? How come the owners of these shops which are left open not only during the day but at night find their merchandise untouched by anyone? Fifty strong Anarolian guards walk around the Bazaar and protect it with only a stick in their hancls and pound them on the floor meaning that they are on duty. No robbeıy occurs in the Bazaar because these guards are full of Turkish qualities !ike chastity, fear of God and faith. It would not be an exaggeration if one says goodwill only belongs to Turks who have not been corrupted until today. Europeans says “It is impossible to conceive how shopping in Turkey is managed with great ease and simplicity.”
Scarlatos Byzantios whose last name denotes that he is from Byzantine descent compliments on the tradesmen of our Grand Bazaar and the merchants of our homeland in his old book. Before that, Evliya Çelebi spoke of the tradesmen in Bazaar at length and mentioneel only one group of tradesmen as “Flea market of deceiver tradesmen” (volume 1, pg 616) for son1e reason.”

The works published about the Grand Bazaar are as few as the number of fingers on one hand. The information that these works contain is almost the same as each other. The two booklets we have in our hands are important and worth the attention after the “The Gmnd Bazaar Novel” by Çelik Gülersoy. Giving the booklet a place in this book, I wanted to facilitate the task of those people who wanted to reach this book which is published in a small amount in my opinion. One of these is “İSTANBUL MARKETS AND THE GRAND BAZAAR” by Orhan Erdenen. Anather one is the booklet published by “The Touring and Automobile Club of Turkey” which has classified under the name of many vitally important works for İstanbul and whose name identifies with Çelik Gülersoy. In the first booklet mostly the architectural structure of the Grand Bazaar is told along with the information on other markets in İstanbul white the second one talks about the tradesmen and the constitutions that they belong to.

Taha Toros

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