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. Bazaar. The seller of these goods woı.ıld only carıy antiques and never carıy imitations or unaı.ıthentic items. After the 1943 fire, the Bazaar also lost its nobility. If one is not an authority on the Grand Bazaar, he certainly will be deceived. The characteristics of the streets had changed. Even the identity of Old Bedestan changed since the eveıy kind of goods that started to be sold there. Eski Bedestan is in the same situation.
Bedestan : The covered markets in which valuable fabrics, firearms and jewelry are bought and sold are cal! ed “Bedestan”. These markets are covered on top and have shops with stone walls. In every big Turkish city, a bedestan was built. After the conquest of İstanbul, three bedestans were bı.ıilt in this big city. Old Bedestan, Inner Bedestan or Mücevher Bedestan; these are located inside the Grand Bazaar. Sandal Bedestan; this one is also located inside the Grand Bazaar. Galata Bedestan.
Old Bedestan, Inner Bedestan Mücevher : 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…>>
We must note two events : In a Saturday of Februaıy towards the enel of the year 1591, the people of İstanbul were horrifiecl when they sa w same of the trı..ınks openecl anel the belonging inside those trunks stolen…>>
Sandal Bedestan, New Bedestan : This bedestan is currently located in the east side of the Grand Bazaar and on the right hand side of the bazaar gate by the Nuruosmaniye Mosque. This building was built after Old-Inner Bedestan by Mehmed the Conqueror. Its plan is similar to Old Bedestan’s. It has four gates but two of them are still canceled. The entrance and the exit to this Bedestan are through the gates that open to Nuruosmaniye Street outside the Bedestan and Sandal Bedestan Street inside. This Bedestan is covered with twenty domes. Currently it is used as a public auction hall under the conduct of İstanbul Municipality. It used to be a Bazaar that sold valuable fabrics. It got the name “Sandal” from a kind of heavy and precious fabric.
The Information About The Past : İstanbul Tradesmen In The Grand Bazaar, According to the description in Kamus-i Turki, the first Turkish dictionary written by Şemsettin Sami: “At one time the tradesmen coordinated into groups !ike artists, shop keepers, quilt makers or coppersmiths ete…>>
Sheik : Until the enel of 17th century, the seyh was the head of the Braveıy-Craftsmanship Community. He was elected by the traclesmen who establishecl the community uncler the canelition of staying as the sheik as long as he lives. The apprentices woulcl not anticipate the election…>>
Chief : The dıief was the manager in the Bravery and Craftmanship Communities. He would manage all the works done by the tradesmen comrnunity and their apprentices. He was elected by the tradesmen of the comrnunity. He had to be a trustworthy person. This position was abolished and his duty was given to Hüda. Some of the big numbered apprentices would have their own chiefs. In the middle of the 17th century, Evliya Çelebi reports that there were three hundred private chiefs. The reason of the big difference of numbers between one hundred and five sheiks and three hundred nakibs was from the number of apprentice chiefs.
The Prayer : The prayer does not have to be one of the tradesmen. A suitable person was selected for this position and an annual salary was paid from d1e community fund. Some tradesmen groups kept their prayers also during the times of guilds. In the barber guild when the apprentice put on their aprons in the exam they took to become a foreman, the apprentice boy who was going to become a foreman used to barber the Prayer before the eyes of his barber masters in the guild room.
Sergeant : In the tradesmen community, the sergeant was sort of a provost. They used to call the responsible and guilty tradesmen for inguisition to the community court which was formed by chiefs and the older tradesmen under the chairmanship of the Sheik. The tradesmen and artisan had to respond the sergeant’s call and go to the court immediately. For apprentices, the sergeants were selected from their own group. Evliya Çelebi recorded the sergeants of artisans as four hundred and fifteen people. At the end of the same century, sergeants were replaced by Yiğitbaşı.
Steward : In the old tradesmen comrnunity steward was sort of an agent between first the Braveıy and Craftsmanship Cornn1unity, later on the Trade Guilds and the Government. Steward of Tradesmen was the official representative of the government in the communty -guild…>>
Yigitbasi : It is the title which was given to the former tradesmen sergeants in the second half of tl1e 17th century. After the establishment of the guilcls, their place was right after stewards. Yiğitbaşıs were elected by the tracesmen.
The Senior Tradesmen : They were the members of the administrative boarc which was establishec with the participations of the Sheik, Cheif, Steward and Sergeant during the times of the Bravery and Craftsmanship Communities anel witl1 the participation of the stewarc anel Yiğitbaşı during the times of the guilds. We were not able to eletermine the number of these seniors in the administrative board. They were all selected by the tradesmen group that they were a member of. These senioı·s were always the people who worked hard on their craftsmanship for years and gained eminence by their chastity and honesty.
Guild : They woulc gather araund in smail monasteries and dervish lodges during the times of Bravery and Craftsmanship Communities. The community’s inventoıy anel trust fund were also kept in a room of the same monasteıy…>>
The Barber Shops : Our shop opens with the name of Allah eveıy morning, Selman is pure, and he is our father and master. In Turkish baths: Our bath opens with the name of Allah eveıy morning, Muhsin bin Osman is our father and master…>>
Trunk : Eaeh tradesman group had a eharity fund. These funds were under surveillance and responsibility of Sheik and the chief in the communities while it was the steward and yiğitbaşı who was responsible in the guilds...>>
Inns And Markets : The eraftsmen who do the same erafts and the tradesmen generally used to gather araund in an inn or in a seetion inside the market which was in the length of the market itself. In İstanbul, Büyük Saraç Inn (Saraçhane), Kerenciler Inn, Fermeneciler Market, Dökmeciler Market, Egyptian Market (Spiee Market), Kürkçü Inn, Yağ Kapanı, Bal Kapanı, Örüeüler Inn, Sırmakeş Inn and similar hundreds of names can be given as examples. The unmarried apprentices of the eraftsmen would stay in rooms inside the inn which was especially reserved for singles. They could only be accepted to those rooms by a guaranty from the Communities before and from the Guilds later on. The inns and rooms for singles were sametimes named after the craftsman group that those singles were the member of, such as Saddler Rooms, Shoemaker Rooms, Tanner Rooms, Boatman Rooms and Sailmaker Rooms. Strict security preeautions were taken in order to avoid the situations that would break the order and peace.