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Grand Bazaar (ing)

turkmmo

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To be lost in “Grand Bazaar”

A bazaar which is in the middle of a historical city… A closed bazaar which covers the most historical parts of the city (Nuruosmaniye and Beyazit). A very old closed bazaar which has lots of stores and workers. A very old closed bazaar which is a real attraction for tourists. A very old attractive closed bazaar which is being visited by thousands of people six days a week. “Grand Bazaar”, the pupil of Istanbul and Turkie, is a great place financially, historically and mystically.
“ However there are lots of signals in the bazaar which try to help you, you can easily be lost”1 “However there has been building lots of modern shopping places in Istanbul, “Grand Bazaar” has never lost its importance”2 “ My words can not be enough, you must see the mystery”3
“Grand Bazaar” has lots of meanings for everyone, everybody finds another view in there. History, hardware, crowdedness and other definitions which depends on people’s minds creates the name of it, “Grand Bazaar”…

HISTORY

“Why do you visit “Grand Bazaar”?”
“Because it saw lots of people, lives and also events. It is history, when I touch to the walls and walk on the streets of it I feel the people lived in here and I hear the voice of the history which is calling me”

This was the answer of a Greek write and ecologist Karamitsios Stelios. History of bazaar affected on that gentleman powerfully.
This great historical bazaar was built in 1461 by Ottoman Sultan Fatih Mehmed. While Fatih Sultan Mehmed was leaving Istanbul to conquer Trabzon he decided to build a bazaar which has the aim to keep all the merchants in one place. It was built with two halls and some stores. In the years of 1700s the Ottoman Sultan Süleyman Khan restored it and now it was its last shape which would be kept until today.
“Grand Bazaar” has been living lots of problems like earthquakes and fires. In 1894 earthquake, bazaar was effected hardly. The effects of the earthquake was restored by four years working (1898) in the reign of II. Abdülhamid Khan. The restoration was substantiated by the writing which is on the one of the doors of bazaar.
After some other earthquakes and fires, the frontiers of bazaar became smaller and some halls (Bit Bazaar, Sarniçli, Paçavraci, Ali Pasha, Camili and Yol Geçen Inns) of it became independent places. Also after 1943 and 1954 fires bazaar took its shape of today.
As a result the secret life of bazaar became such a private life that people has been trying to learn. Every secret thing becomes private as time passes by.

Hardware

The effects of the earthquakes and fires changed the numbers of the stores, streets and the halls of bazaar. The extinguishing fire and restoring techniques were not well to keep bazaar in the same shape for centuries.

As an example, a century before today there were 61 streets, 2 halls, 12 treasury rooms, 4 masjides, 2 ‘shadirvan’s4, 5 fountains, 8 wells, 24 inns, 4399 stores, 2195 small rooms and 1 hamam but because of earthquakes and fires the numbers decreased.
The number of the customers and visitors of bazaar decreased. The financial importance of bazaar lost its power. However bazaar became smaller or lost its great importance the visitors never left it alone because bazaar was still the biggest closed bazaar of the world.
In addition, today it has 66 roads, 4000 stores, police station and banks with its great atmosphere. Every tourist is visiting “Grand Bazaar” whenever they come to Istanbul and most of them buy presents for their relatives or friends every time. This means visitors have never give up however bazaar was near to give up.

Something Personal

From Agri to Bursa, from Izmir to Ankara, from Singapore to Greece, from England to USA, everybody on the world heard its name; “Grand Bazaar”.
“You must be careful, it can swallow you” A 32 years old policeman Çetin Temizer used these words to give an advise to me. He says that, he tried to express the pressure of bazaar on people. “It is alive, it has power. Look at me I am only a policeman in a truistic place, nothing happens important more than once a month but I am tired everyday, I do not stand all the time, I do not write or read much, I do not run but I am tired. It has a power and it has a pressure”

“It is something like compulsory to visit” 66 years old retired officer, Ali Özbek says that he can not imagine a month which passes without visiting “Grand Bazaar”. “ For the past 20 years, I could only afford to buy two gifts with my limited retired salary, but I have never given up visiting Grand Bazaar because it has a sacred attraction.”
To illustrate the effects of bazaar on people, we must listen to the words of a tourist who is from Singapore; Yong Ping Koh. “ I can give out all of my money and I can give over my all time in here. I feel alone when I enter to bazaar , although I travel with my friends.”
Finally, a French gentleman Paul Picou describes his feelings in really interesting words “I never feel like I have been to Istanbul, if I have not visited bazaar. It has a magical atmosphere which has grown on me since the last time I have discovered it many years ago. I have done it 20 years ago and now I am doing it with the same emotions.”
We can get some more results from these different people; most of the tourists travel to be away from the crowdedness of the metropolises but they really enjoy their time while travelling a crowded place like bazaar. People nearly say same things while explaining their feelings about “Grand Bazaar”, although they have nothing same in common.
To sum up, Grand Bazaar created nearly same feelings on people, however they have never seen each others anytime. People get familiar by their feelings because of a closed bazaar. Does not it seem like that it is magical?




1. Prof.Dr.Özankaya, Özer
2. Özavar, Sitki Bekir
3. Güler, Ara
4. Fountain for ablutions (in the courtyard of a mosque)

 

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