The Grand Bazaar Tells It’s Story

Tn 2001, I was veıy surprisecl when I founcl out that the Grancl Bazaar, which had a l1is- toıy of five hundred foıty one years, dicl not have any publications that talkecl about it. T was dıe secretaıy general of tlıe Foundation, anel publisl1ing a magazine was one of our pron1ises to the traclesmen. With tl1is magazine, we were going to teli our 11is- toıy and pass our present on to d1e future. 11ıe infoımation on tl1e last representatives of the occupations tlıat were about tl1e extinct was paıticularly impoıtant. I was assignec.l to dıis task. Although I haci spoken to many people and agencies for eight montl1s, I clicl not find anybocly who is ideal for this project. Meanwhile, many unprececlented events happened in the Bazaar. For d1e first time, an inteınational magazine publishecl an adveıtisement of d1e Grancl Bazaar. The attempt to lut tl1e Guinness Records Book with the longest indoor elining table was done witl1 d1e <ıttenclance of sixteen hunclred ltalians. The website project, which woulcl enable the whole world to suıf all the stores anel streets of tlıe Bazaar online, was not fully successful because the traclesmen dicl not artadı enough impoıtance to computers along witl1 dıe inefficiency of the company dut designeel the webpage. However, the rumvay show of a famous fashion clesigner tlıat was helcl for the grancl opening of d1e web poıtal tumec.l out to be an amazing adveıtisement for the Bazaar. Even live TV sbows staıtec.l to be shot in the Bazaar. Most of the roacls were renovareel and staıted to be d eaneel with modern d eaning devices. l3y putting directian signs anel aciding the Bazaar’s newesr maps to dıe entrances, an easier tour was provicled especially for d1e touıists. Witlı its new face, tlıe Uazaar staıted to be seen on the newspapers, magazines anel TV. It was  the time for the Bazaar to have its own publication in order to teli its own stoıy. The Foundation even had money from the donations. Eight months later, on June 22ncl, 2001, I met Rifat Decleoğlu. The things that I was teliing were totally marching up with his thoughts. We sinıilarly expressed our thoughts on the Uazaar’s histoıy, culture and significance. I got quite excitecl. I went directly to our director of tl1e foundation anel gave him the good news. In order for tl1e magazine to be an official publication of the Bazaar, the elirector had to be the grant holcler. However, he shockecl me when he said, “What if something unpleasant gets Nrit- ten that woulcl cause me problems, and by the way, we do not have enouglı money for this, if tl1is is what you really want, tl1en you are free to do it all by yourself.” That is how I ownecl tlıe magazine. We publishecl five issues witl1 Rifat Dedeoğlu. I can tell you tlıat I spent the half of my money that I nıacle in the Bazaar for tl1ese five issues. Yet, I have never regrettecl it. Also, I criticized tl1e Ameıican govern- ment for the medıocls tl1at dıey followecl on the war on ten·or, and tolcl that the Bazaar was the best example of a real world trade anel cultural center.

This criticism must have offenclecl tl1em that American Consulate rejectecl my visa application while giving visas to my eınployees. With 11is lifetime experiences anel waıTior personality, Rifat Decleoğlu, worked ambitiously throughout the nights for the five issues of tl1e magazine. For l1im, the most impoıtant person was Prof. Dr. Metin Sözen who was tl1e director of the Foundation for the Promotion anel Protection of t11e Environment anel Cultural Heritage (Çekül). He wrote the first aıticle of our magazine and wishecl us goocl luck with his realistic approach. Of course, many of his hiencls such as Aydın Boysan, Işıl Özgentürk, anel Sevin Okyay helped him. I believe, d1e issues that were pub- lislıecl with eveıybody’s contribution are very important  for the lıistoıy of the bazaar.

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