Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Gaziantep is a commercial hub, considered to have the largest organized industrial area in the country.  This is evidenced by the existence of so many beautiful bazaars called "Bedestan" and "Hans".  Sold at these bazaars are hand-woven and machined carpets, handicrafts, sandals, olive oil and soaps, copperwares and so many other products.

The city is also the biggest producer of pistachio (locally called "fistik") in Turkey with pastry shops selling the sweet pistachio baklava, perhaps one of the most delicious baklava I have tasted, I even bought two small boxes just to devour on it during the evenings.

I have listed here some of the old bazaars I found while wandering around the castle area.

Zincirli Bedestan

The Zincirli Bedesten, locally known as “black steps bazaar” is one of the  is an Ottoman era covered bazaar built in 1781 by Hüseyin Pasha of Darende.  According to records,  there was formerly an epigraph on the south gate written by Kusuri, but this inscription is not in place today. This bazaar was used as a wholesale market hall for meat, fruit and vegetables. 

There are 73 stores inside the bazaar in the “L” shaped one-storey building, and 5 gates.  The bedestan was restored by the General Directorate of Foundations in 2008.

Millet Han

Thought to have been built between  1868 and 1869.  According to sources, the first owner was Ascioglu Kesbar Kevork.  Just like many ottoman period hans, the Millet Hani is built as 2-storey.  The yard is surrounded by spaces at the ground floor and colonnades from four sides at the upper floor. 

Inside the han are several shops selling copper works, clothes and haberdashery.  An old man in one of the shops is actually making a sort of textile or carpet using an old wooden equipment. 
In the middle of the big courtyard is a statue of a man sitting in the mid of fountain with the inscription that says the “Aydi Baba, 1812-1865”.

Gumruk Inn
The inn was built during the years 1873-1878 by Hadji Omer Efendi, which is also called the Hadji Omer Inn.

In the past, the building was used as a traveller’s inn.  The skewed rectangular inn was built from cut stones and has a single courtyard.  The ground floor was used as a stabling and storage.  There are shops along the street side of the front entrance wall.  A stone stairs in a corner of the courtyard lead to the upper floor where guests were accommodated. 

Now, it has several boutique shops that sells handicrafts like carpets, local dresses and shoes, and a nice exhibition hall also selling several hand-made decors and home haberdasheries.

Address:  Gumruk Cad corner Karanfil Sok.

Tarihi Yenihan
The main arched entrance of the Tarihi Yenihan has an inscription that says 1557, probably the year it was built.  This han is near the Millet Han and the Gumruk Inn. 

Like most hans in Gaziantep, it has a big courtyard with several tables and chairs serving coffee and tea.  There are several shops selling handicrafts, some replica mosaics, local shoes and carpets.
Right at the entrance, there’s this guy making Turkish coffee using charcoals.

Anadolu Hani
Just at the entrance of this bazaar are displays of portrait sized carpets of various faces, probably Turkey’s important figures and celebrities. 

Construction date of this han is estimated at the beginning of the 19th century.  Thought to have been built in 1892 by Hadji Mehmet Muhsinzade.  Parts of the upper floor was renovated in 1985.
The”U” shaped han has porticos on the second floor halls.  During the past, the ground floor was used as stables and warehouses.  Today, most of the shops inside the han sells carpets.

Address:  Karagöz Mah.


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