While we are dealing with the economic crisis, a French administrator and his wife, who live in istan- bul, say that the erisis has already ended by taking their three years of experiences in Turkey into con- sideration. According to the Grand Bazaar lovers Bruno and Marie Noelle Pertriaux, Turkish people, in general, don’t mind the crisis. Although the day was Saturday, Bruno and Marie Noelle Pertriaux were caught in heavy traffic when they were on their way to the Grand Bazaar. As soon as they arrived at our meeting place in Cebeci Inn, they started to complain about the traffic. They said “If we look at the traffic to judge, presumably the erisis has ended.” “Turkish people are so different from European people. If this kind of a erisis happened in our country, people would not know what to do; they couldn’t collect themselves for a long while. But here, people get up in the morning and ignore the erisis by saying ‘come on, don’t worry’. We are not saying this only by looking at the traffic. We have seen this before. Turkish people immediately create practical remedies to the enforcements that the erisis creates. If we have to think in general, even though the news doesn’t attest, it seems as if the erisis has end.”
This is how the couple, whom we spoke about the Grand Bazaar, began their words. As we hoped that they would turn out to be right, we brought the conversation back to the Grand Bazaar. When the couple first stopped by at the Grand Bazaar three years ago, they found the marketing method applied in the Bazaar, that is to say the workers’ efforts to attract customers, very ‘aggressive’, although they were not completely terrified. Nevertheless, they didn’t ignore the narrations full of praises that they heard from atlıers and persistently continued to come to the Bazaar. Taday, after three years of their first visit to the Bazaar, the couple is in love with the Grand Bazaar and they even don’t care the workers’ aggressive efforts. Besides, when they look at the point from a different angle, they actually understand the workers’ attitudes. Bruno Pertriaux is the executive director of a French company which has thirty stores in İstanbul. This means that Monsieur Pertriaux must know the scientific methods of marketing well. I asked; he approved the correctness of my judgment. “All right then,” I said, “How do you explain the reason why the tradesmen do not give up their marketing methods, which in the beginning you found aggressive, therefore which must be repulsive instead of attractive?” Monsieur Pertriaux smiled and began to explain: “There is an important approach in the market management. People first hesitate to enter to a place which they don’t know. For that reason, the fronts of markets are designed in a way that people can see the inside completely. Anather example to this approach is the automatically opening doors, so that there are no obstacles in front of the customers that prevent them from entering in. In short, modern markets secretly invite people in.
The method used in the Grand Bazaar is necessaıy in this aspect. Because all the shops here are never !ike big markets; all of them are smail and crowded. Therefore, people need to be attracted in a way in orcler to come inside. This method, which we find aggressive, is used for thousancls of years in order to Jet people inside the shops. Today, if the competition, especially in Grand Bazaar, is consiclerecl, it seems !ike there is no other alternative. Besicles, tbere are a lot of tourists who like these approaches of the sellers. Moreover, this approach is a pan of the Grand Bazaar.” Maclame Peıtriaux triecl to aclcl something to his husbancl’s ‘Norcls
“Our friends reconuı1ended us to learn some Turkish before buying anything. We clid so; we came here for six montbs, but didn’t buy anything. Later on, we slowly ma de some friends with some of the tradesmen. After that, we began to enjoy here veıy much. From then on, the Grancl Bazaar became an acidietion for us. You go to Hagia Sophia anel Sultanahmet Mosque once or maybe twice. But, the Grancl Bazaar is enormously big. In each visit, one cliscovers new things here” Monsieur Pertriaux continued. Once more he began to evaluate the Grand Bazaar with his own marketing experiences. He explained that eveıything woulcl always be steady in a store: “There, eveıything has a ceıtain price anda quality. You can’t say that you prefer a clifferent kinci of potato. Or you can’t bargain over the price. That is to say, you can’t elemanel something special. Yet, you are able to direct eveıything that is solcl in the Bazaar yourself if you know how to. The more you wander, the more you realize that many of the things that are sold in here are made in the back rooms here. That is why a person is able to have some changes done on the item heshe wants to buy.
Or, if hels be wants to buy a carpet or a kilim, heshe can choose it from among thousancls of colors anel patterns. There is another impoıtant point. During the shopping in stoı·es, you leam veıy little new information. However, when you buy a carpet, information gets clownloaded into you. Of course, the bargaining process is a paıt of the pleasure of the Grancl Bazaar. It is inclispensable.” The turn was Madame Peıtriaux’s: “As my husband says, this place is veıy big. It is almost !ike a city. It is almost !ike it is outside of İstanbul. This place is !ike a weekenel getaway. Moreover, it is wrong to think of the Grancl Bazaar only within its borclers. Surrouncling places !ike the Sahaflar Market anel the Spice Market are the paıts of the big whole.” The last worcls come from Monsieur Peıtriaux: “We clon’t have a specific memoıy that we can name goocl or bad here. After we got used to it, eveıy day that we had spent here was beautiful in a clifferent way. But if you want a criticism in any case, the asphalt floor doesn’t suit here. In adclition, there is the visual pollution that occurs as a result of endeavors of the traclesmen who tıy to make their shops look modern. Apaıt from these, don’t touch the Grancl Bazaar; Jet it stay as it is. The Grand Bazaar is the summaıy of Turkey. We will return to our countıy next year but ‘”"e will miss the Grancl Bazaar so much.”
Bruno ve Marie Noelle Pertriaux