17 February 2021
The 13 inns and 2 covered bazaars, which survived the restorations in Gaziantep, attract the attention of tourists as the places where various products from local products to textiles and souvenirs are sold. Lala Mustafa Pasha (Hışva), Zincirli Bedesten, Çekirdekçi, Tobacco, Bone Bedesten, Salt, Millet, Şire, İnceoğlu, Customs, Kürkçü, Maarif and Anatolian inns, Yeni and Bayaz Han are still standing and defying the years.
The inns and covered bazaars, which had an important place in city life in the past in Gaziantep, maintain their vitality thanks to the restorations. Lala Mustafa Pasha (Hışva), Zincirli Bedesten, Çekirdekçi, Tobacco, Kemikli Bedesten, Salt, Millet, Şire, İnceoğlu, Customs, Kürkçü, Maarif and Anatolian inns, most of which were built around Gaziantep Castle for security reasons when they were built and were generally designed as two floors Yeni Han and Bayaz Han are still standing.
Historical buildings that have contributed to the city for centuries continue to function as centers where various products are sold, from local products to textiles and souvenirs.
Metropolitan Municipality Gazi Kültür AŞ General Manager and Gaziantep University Turkish Language and Literature Department Faculty Member Prof. Dr. Halil İbrahim Yakar said that the oldest place of construction in the city is Lala Mustafa Pasha Han.
Stating that there are 13 inns and two covered bazaars left in Gaziantep from the past to the present, Yakar explained that most of them were designed to meet the function of trade and accommodation. Stating that textile production was also carried out in the inns for a period, Yakar said, “In the 16th and 17th centuries, the names of business lines such as textile material and dyehouse, carpet and bezzaz are mentioned in the sher’iye registers. In this period, Antep was the center of textile trade. “It was an alternative to textile production in Şer’iye. In the records of Sharia, there are traders who take the products woven on looms to Aleppo and sell them on behalf of the producers. The goods produced in Antep were transported to Iraq or to the Mediterranean shores via Aleppo.”
Noting that the city has made a name for itself with its trade for centuries, Yakar stated that this also increased the number of inns: “In the 17th century, while rebellions and internal conflicts continued in many regions of the Ottoman Empire, the number of commercial buildings increased in Antep. Kemikli Bedesten, Mecidiye Han, Tuz Inn. Buildings such as Şire Inn are large inns built after this period. The reason why the city continued its liveliness in trade unlike other regions in the 17th century is that it was located on the trade routes connecting Anatolia to the Persian Gulf until the construction of the Suez Canal. The need for large buildings for the sale, storage and protection of valuable goods has led to an increase in the number of large buildings such as inns and bedestens that contain such functions.It is possible to understand the intensity of the trade in the city from the number of inns built in that period.When the locations of the inns are examined, it is seen that they constituted the trade center of Antep “
Yakar pointed out that the inns and covered bazaars were renewed in the 19th and 20th centuries and survived until today and that the buildings now serve both trade and tourism.
Ekrem Sebzeci, who has a workplace in Zincirli Bedesten, said that the bedesten received very heavy visitors before the epidemic, and that the number decreased during the Covid-19 process. Sebzeci noted that they expect re-action after the epidemic is over.
Fatih Gökgöz also drew attention to the fact that the bedesten has a 3-door and T-shape and said, “It is one of the places that must be seen in the city. It was a place where tourists and tours before the pandemic would definitely come. They would not leave without visiting. It is always a place of interest. I hope we expect to return to the old days.”
Arzu Tamer, one of the visitors, stated that the historical atmosphere of the covered bazaar impressed him and he liked it very much, and advised everyone to visit.