The First Bank Of The World

While Cemaleddin Bildik, an interview journalist who wrote beautiful articles about the daily life in İstanbul in the daily newspaper Akşam for years, was wandering around the Big Bedestan between the years of 1940-1950 he mentioned of these boxes and their records in addition to many other things: “A fee of 2-4 liras used to be charged for the belongings that were deposited in Bedestan. According to the deposit records, today, there are stil! thirthy six trunks, five safety boxes, one drawer and three of the same belongings staying in the Cevahirciler Market under the “deposits” name. It is very interesting that none of these items were claimed for since 1936. When I wanted to learn from Hüseyin Kayar, the head of deposit services, what actually those belongings were, he said: ‘It is unknown. Even some of these items which are not claimed for a long time are about to decompose. We believe that there are title deeds, other important documents and rugs with naphthalene in these trunks.

The owner of these belongings, which wait for years, may be dead. However, I decided to browse on these documents so that I can help the heirs to look for them:Yenişehirli Malik Efendizade Kevkep Bey who resides in the house numbered 92 on Horhor Avenue. A green trunk, which is on the undaimed deposits list since 1934, is registered under this address. A trunk, which is registered under Hacı Ahmet Efendizade Mehmed Said Bey who is one of the Hayriye tradesmen on Karayani Street in Kadıköy Osmanağa, is also undaimed since 1335 (1919). The head of deposit services, B. Hüseyin Kayar, points out that there might be some valllable and undarnaged items and says: “Maybe, there are some title deeds or money that can make the heirs very wealthy … however the heirs do not know about it .. . -Why didn’t you Jetter to those addresses to Jet the resident know? -When w e sen d a notice Jetter we see that the original residents are not there anymore. This is why the heirs can not be informed of the deposits. Anyways, let’s turn a couple more pages from the notebook: Orhan Yahya Bey who resides in Kuyulu Street, Piruzağa district, Sultanahmet … There is also a tıunk registered to this address, which have not been claimed since September 14 1321 (1905). A deposit which has not been claimed for forty two years! Since I did not presume that this trunk can stay undecomposed for forty two years, I asked Hüseyin Kayar: “Did you see it? Does the trunk stay undamaged? And he answered: “Since that place is not humid, the things inside the trunk probably did not decompose.”

However, the things, that stay in humid places, probably got a lot of damage although nothing can be seen from outside. There are stili some belongings in the safe deposit boxes in Bedestan. However, when there were five htındred boxes before, now only sixty five of them are active. A representative of Bedestan and a framer, Hüseyin Kayar says: Thirty five of these sixty five safe deposit boxes are used by jewelers who drop their merchandise in the evening and pick them up in the morning. In the other thirty boxes, there are belongings of people. “We are browsing on the notebook which has the records of people’s belongings: -Year 1340 (1924), serial number is 104. This safety box belongs to Iate Hacı Mehmed Efendizade İsmail Ziya Bey from Çorlu. But the deposit in the box is unknown. Because he himself has the key and the lock has not been opened for twenty three years. -Could it be empty? -You never know .. .

Many trunks, which have not been claimed for years just !ike this, got opened and bags full of gold were found in them. He gives an example: Let me teli you about an inciden_t from nine-ten years ago. Iranian Hüseyin Bey, who was a draper, was one of the renters of the deposit boxes. His business got bad and then he went bankıupt. However, he did not leave his box. He would often come, open his box, put some things in there and leave. Finally, one day Hüseyin Bey passed away. We applied to the court and Jet them know of the condition and told them that the deceased had a deposit box here so they must search for the heir. After the court’s notices, a countryman from Iran showed up. The box was opened while the cmırt witnessed. A hundred and fifty Ottoman, French and England gold coins were found in the box. “B. Osman Boztepe, who is one of the seniors of the Bazaar and was with us during this conversation, told us about his own memories: -I have been a tradesman in this Bazaar for forty seven years now. There were people who renred one of these safety boxes and were impossible to identify if they were rich by looking at their appearances. However, we were able to identify some rich customers. A black girl would walk for sure behind a wealthy woman. At that time these black girls were sold for ten Ottoman liras and the wealthy used to buy them. It was almost a trend for these wealthy women to come to the Bazaar with these black girls walking right behind them. When we saw people !ike this, we would know that we were dealing with a wealthy customer.” I thank to Cemaleeldin Bildik for this information which was published in Akşam newspaper in 1957. When I was publishing the Grand Bazaar Magazine, I wanted the tradesmen to share any documents, pictures or even their memoirs even if they do not have any of the others with me. Unfortunately, I could only obtain a little. And when it comes to the memoirs, it almost seems !ike the people of the Bazaar have been living a life without them.

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