Covering a very large area, the Grand Bazaar has about 4000 shops – also many workshops, glass, fountains, restaurants, coffee, custard etc. The Grand Bazaar is a world in itself.
Although there are those who claim that some buildings of this bazaar were built in the Byzantine period, it is more plausible that the construction started in the time of Fatih. The first episodes were Sandal Bedesten and Cevahir Bedesten. These are both bazaars in the bazaar. ,
Evidence of those fitting to Byzantium is that the relief of the Byzantine eagle in the stone above one of the four doors of Cevahir Bedesteni. But the Ottomans could put it in a building they built, as elsewhere. The architectural style is completely Ottoman.
It was a safe building as it was a closed building and its doors were locked at night. Therefore, those who traded the most valuable items preferred this place. Cevahir Bedesteni was such a section. But the Grand Bazaar was a place where all kinds of goods imaginable were sold. According to the guilds, various streets and regions were divided. Even today, this feature is especially noticeable in street names.
Travelers who have been visiting this place in the past centuries tell about the silence of the bazaar, the dignity and honesty of the shopkeepers. Capitalism and tourism changed such features. Now, the shopkeepers are trying to persuade the customers to come to their shops rather than sit in their seats and wait for the customer. They can do this activity in twenty-five languages like this.
The old catering style continues. As for the bargain, this is a fair play event. Both parties are entering this competition with the necessary background information; seller advantageous, from the very beginning. For those who know what they are talking about, this bargain is like a ritual of a certain event; its fulfillment gives pleasure to both sides. If the customer entered the bargain without knowing what he was talking about, he should be prepared for some consequences. He may have lowered the price a lot, but later learns that the item he bought is an imitation. This is a consolation, no doubt; he could also buy the same counterfeit goods at the first high price.
Today’s properties of the shopping world have changed the Grand Bazaar as much as everywhere. While many old crafts have disappeared, their name continues to live as the name of the various streets of the bazaar. For example, the big carpet shops, which were opened on Nuruosmaniye Street, attracted foreign tourists to them, although they did not completely kill the carpet business in the bazaar, but they weakened them thoroughly. Jewelry shops spread everywhere.
By the way, even the extremely cute puddle hut near Sandal Bedesten became a jeweler. The number of leather and jean sellers has also increased a lot. On the other hand, for example, the best copper work is naturally found in Inner Bedesten, but other than that, most coppersmiths and tastes of copper are sold. Despite everything, the Grand Bazaar is interesting and attractive. The locals of Istanbul make up an occasion to shop from the Grand Bazaar once in a while, although everything is everywhere. Foreigners who visit the city also experience the feeling that they missed something very important if they left without seeing it. These show that the Grand Bazaar has not lost its magic.
The Grand Bazaar has survived many serious fires, the last one being in 1954. In the 1980s, signs, neon lights, etc. that began to wrap the building like ivy and make it strangely invisible. It has been removed. This really had a positive effect.
Apart from the normal shops in the bazaar, there is the ”Havuzlu Lokantası” which is famous for its coffee. I have already said that there will be good traditional restaurants in the regions where traditional artisans are located. These are outside the bazaar, but also near. For example, the restaurant in the corner of Nuruosmaniye facing the Grand Bazaar near Çuhacılar, Subaşı. In the opposite direction, on the left, going towards Çemberlitaş, Arslan entered on the left, through a narrow door and climbing the stairs; and Ümit in the north wing of the Vizier Khan.
MURAT BELGE 2002
kaynak:İstanbul Gezi Rehberi, Tarih Vakfı Yurt Yayınları