The Public Restroom

We were hosting the Mayor of İstanbul in the foundation. It was 2002. We thought we should ask him for something we needed. Something w e had already deserved. Years ago, the Bazaar foundation built a public restroom Then, the city hall entrusted its management to some private persons, who failed to pay the water bills, didn’t take care of its maintenance and eventually abandoned it. Ali Müfit Gürtuna gave us the keys irnmediately and said; “Here, it is all yours. I do not demand any rent since it is there to serve the public.” Even though he said that five times, the contract was not signed. He was giving the orders as we were there, but it just didn’t happen. Our friends, who overtook the managernem of the foundation after us, alsa went to them for this issue. Finally, that public restroom went out to tender for a veıy high price. The foundation had to rent it, but it was obvious that there would be many problems which started soon after. They failed to pay the rent for three months due to its high amount. Meanwhile, a new mayor was elected and we were hopeful. However, this time we could not get an appointrnent from Kadir Topbaş. We were told that he was very busy. Yet, we had no time to lose. Finally, we got the good news. The mayor was expecting us. He was giving us such good news that we had never expected. He was saying that he would give the restroom to our management, that we could either buy it, or lease it for a low rent. This restroom was so important to us for it was the only women’s restroom in the Bazaar. We were told that during its tender bidding process, same disreputable people joined to the bidding, and thereby the price went up astronomically. Kadir Topb~ promised not only these, but to take care of many things from the roof to the floors, from the infrastructure to the renovation of the Inns. Time will show us what will happen. When we were renovaring the floors, we checked the sewer systems as good as we can. We saw a sewer pipe ending in one of the streets, and the water was flowing direcdy to the foundation! However, what amazed me the most was the fact that the black canals from the reign of Mehmet the Conqueror remained intact.

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