The-Grand-Bazaar-Smuggling

The Grand Bazaar Smuggling

The mercer Metin Bensin, who also seıvecl a temı as the elirector of the foundation, was teliing us about the old customers as he was ralking about the old days of the Grand Bazaar: “I usecl to have over du-ee hunclrecl customers to whom I was selling on creclit. We usecl to write their first anel last nanıes anel hometowns. I clicl not keep any other informa- tion !ike an address or phone number, which nıeant that I coulcl never have founcl them if they had not paicl their clues. Yet, I was never cleceivecl by a custoıner back then. Today, I even get upset while we do our tracling us[ng checks anel bo n ds.” “There were people who had clifferent opinions on the Grancl Bazaar back then. Abdullah Kiğılı was a friend of mine. As for Saaclettlıı Tantan, he was dıe cllı·ector of the wrestling club. We usecl to go to watch wrestling there. Abdullah Kiğılı introclucecl me to Saaclettin Tantan anel said· “This is Metin Bensin from dıe Grancl Bazaaı’,, Tantaı~ repliecl, “Then, he must be either a smuggler, or a jeweler.” I said, “No, I am maraucler.”mentioned before, we used to seli on credit and write the customer’s name into a notebook. We had a customer named Mrs.Hatice. I had never seen her husband. She was an old customer of mine. She used to pay her debts on time.

She started to come less and less, and she owed me a little sum of money. When she did not appear for a long time, I erased her debt from my notebook. It turned out that she had passed away. Her husband, Uncle Hacı, had a dream where she was in distress and teliing him about her debt. He looked for me everywhere, and then found me in the Bazaar. Since he had never come to my store before, he had to ask from her wife’s friends to find me. He said, “I am the husband of Iate Mrs.Hatice, I think she owed you some money. She passed away; now please teli me how much she owed you.” I replied; “My condolences to you Uncle Hacı, she used to be my customer for a veıy long time. She contributed to my business by being a loyal customer. She owed me just a little amount. It is no big dea!. I have already erased it.” But Uncle Hacı got angry with my remarks and said; “Who do you think you are to erase my wife’s debt, teli me at o nce how mu ch it was and let me pay it now.” I calmed him down and apologized”

“I was a draper between 1953 and 1985. In 1985, my son overtook the business. He changed the structure of the business. I stepped back as he was improving the business. Now, I only come to the store for the pleasure. Anyway, there used to be a close bond between neighbors, and friends here. For example, we had many Jewish neighbors. Our prices were more stable and lower. When their customers came to us, they used to yell “Metin, don’t be an imşo,” to me, meaning that I should not spoil the business. Then, I would give the customers higher prices not to hamper their businesses.”

“I was the chairman in the Bazaar between 1991-1993. Before that, I was the vice chairman for seventeen years. One day my daughter came to visit me. I walked with her to the main gate of the Bazaar as she was leaving. One of the errand boys did not notice me, and assaulted my daughter. I did not do anything. He was nobody, and there was no need to fight with him there. People got angry with him and told him that it was my daughter whom he assulted. He came to me and apologized, which made me even more upset, for he was sony only because it was my daughter. I said to him, “Don’t you have a mother, aunt or sister? Aren’t you aslıamed of yourself?” We never used to experience such outrages before.”

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