The Midst Of Istanbul

The biggest goal of the Grand Bazaar magazine is to turn the Grand Bazaar into a cultural center.Source Aksiyon Autho Nihai Bengisu Karaca A place where all the colors and desires of handicrafts can be observed. . . A place where you can see at least one antique work in every shop and where forgotten names of decoration arts stilllive … A place, where both old but alive handiworks of Armenian masters, Afghan Turkmens, Levantines, Iranian patterns and Anatolians can exist all together … A place, where Hillary Clinton or Demi Moore stopped by first to do shopping in İstanbul. . . A place from where the antiques start their journey … A place where the most reasonable prices are given for ctırrency exchanges … A place, where gold and jewels are designeel and embroidered in the most beautiful way … Or a place which comes to mind first when you ask for a carpet, kilim, and leather, silver or copper. .. Many definitions and characteristics can be given and everyone can support any reason that they !ike. However, these will only become valuable worldwide when they are not eradicated by ignorance, indifference, contempt and selfishness. Why not? Why wouldn’t the Grand Bazaar become a world brand? Why wouldn’t the Grand Bazaar become a perfect ctıltural center with its museum, conference halis and auction facilities

A live newspaper with fabrics and jewels … The Grand Bazaar used to be a natural communication place. In addition to being a trade center, it used to be a place, almost !ike a newspaper, in which international news could be read. The visitors would understand the situation in other countries by observing the goods coming into the bazaar from other countries. If a few different kinds of fabrics did not arrive, it was assumed that something wrong happened in Iran. If the belongings of the king of Yenice came to Bazaar, it was thought that Yenice was in financial crises. When the ratio of gold was reduced in silver coins, it was the people of Grand Bazaar who boiled over with rage first. It is needless to mention the im portance of the Grand Bazaar as an indicator of the economy. Even though the exact number is not known, in an area of three htındred thousand square meters, there are three thousand six hundred shops and approximately twenty thousand workers in Grand Bazaar. The numbers of people from Anatolia and outside Turkey, who benefit from this bazaar, are as manyas this number. This gigantic concept, in which common cultures have lived side by side for years and differences brought not complicity but richness, has become a place of emel competition, anger and controversies among tradesmen. Attila Özbey claims that the idea of publishing a magazine was bom from this ‘disaggrement’. He says; ‘Eveıything had staıted with my next door neighbor’. And continues ‘Once, there used to be the tradesmen, who would send his second customer to his next door neighbor after he had his first sale of the day here’. ‘But now, all the neighbors are angry at each other.’ As he realized that a business ethic that is fed from cultural values can only be  revived by adopting that culture back and knew that it was the time remind some things, he hinıself had to do the work. If your job is to revive the nıission anel spirit of the Grand Bazaar, without a doubt, you begin with the histoıy. He did the same. However, he was surprisecl when he realized that there were no records about this gigantic concept anel it did not have an arcbive. He also didn’t know whether the bazaar was built by Ottoman or Byzantine. His reseaı-ches showeel that the Inner Bedestan, which staıtecl to be built in 1457 anel finished in 1461, was a place where nıany of the commercial practices, which we thought were taken from the West, was a!ı·eacly being applied such as safe deposit boxes. In the areas of copper, hookahs, jewelıy, illumination, callig- raphy, clecoration anel carving, there are people here who do their jobs not as crafts but as an aıt; these people also have special knowledge on these areas. There are the Armenian masters, who write calligraphy and draw icons on the leaves they dried, along with experts who can write papers of articles about the carpet of Tülü, saying that figures on Tülü carpets, which are especially woven in Karapinar, deseribe that region’s geographical stn.ıcture … Would another Bedros Kato, who knows the entire old tradesmen culture, come to the world? Or another Rıfat Yüzbaşı who makes magnificent clecoration items from nautical materials? As the first and the best hookah hose mak er is stili ali ve … A so und inside te lls me that it is time to take the step … As the impoıtance of the historical facts about this Grancl Bazaar treasure went beyond the limits …

Sandal Bedestan is to be a museum or … The magazine, which is not inclifferent to the current problenıs of the tradesmen of the Grancl Bazaar anel cloesn’t depenel on any capital groups, is assertive in culture and art areas. The content of the magazine justifies its assertions as well. This magazine starteel to be delivereel to newsagents after its second issue and has subscribers abroacl. The former prime minister of Cyprus wants to be the attache of the magazine. Consulates of Germany, the U.S. anel Turkmenistan in Turkey have alreacly become subscribers. The biggest goal of the Grancl Bazaar magazine is to transform the Grand Bazaar into a cultural center. For this purpose, the magazine undertakes the misson of raising awareness among the people of Bazaar at first hane! and increasing the human quality. One of the nıisbehaviours, which the magazine fight against, is the misuse of the stn.ıcture without looking after its historical characteristics such as hanging the worst quality items to the walls of an inn that was built in 1461 with a thick nail. However, becoming a world brancl anel a cultural center is not possible with the 2 TL fees that the assodation without any exercise power collects from the subscribers per year. At one point, the City along with the Ministry of Culture must show a goocl amount of support, anel moreover, set their hancls to the job. Right now, Grancl Bazaar has many unfunctional inns that are left to complete their time of recoveıy. Attila Özbey thinks that these architecturally perfect inns can become museums, exhibitions, and auction and concert halis. He even thinks that the Sarraf Inn, which is located in Sandal Bedestan and was damaged after the fire in 1954, can be used for those purposes. But first there has to be a restoration

The way must be paved for the Grand Bazaar … An example: Although the Grand Bazaar deserves to be İstanbul’s, even Turkey’s ‘Rome’ with all of its characteristics, none of the roads leads to it! The order of surraunding roads and smuggled shops that try to benefit from its energy makes the Bazaar ‘invisible’. The Grand Bazaar needs projects that should be followed strictly and supported strongly by its management and the surrounings. ‘First and foremost, a democratic consortium that consists of the Ministry, the City and the tradesmen is necessary for the Grand Bazaar which currently has a problematic management.’ According to Özbey, the next step should be the incoı·poration of the Grand Bazaar, so that it can make investments. Özbey adds; ‘It’s just the time to do what needs to be done.’ Because, according to him, the times of erisis are the times when people ask themselves where they have made the mistake and seek for new oppoıtunities. The best ideas flash and the best steps are taken in these times. ‘Almost everybody in the Grand Bazaar is in pursuit of new ways.’continues he. It is because the Grand Bazaar is both “under seige” and consistently under attack. He adds; ‘If any one can see a clifference between the attack to the World Trade Center and the actual, !ega! and commercial attacks towards the cultural and histarical existence of the Grand Bazaar, please explain.’ Is there anyone who can teli the difference? I clon’t think so.

Nihal Bengisu Karaca 

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