ARCH 302: Case Study: Traditional Spaces of Exchange in Turkish Context

My case study includes  Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar in İstanbul, Bursa Grand Bazaar, İzmir Kemeraltı. This study is an group work, so  I focused on Grand Bazaar in İstanbul.


History of Grand Bazaar

  • The Grand Bazaar was founded in 1461 by Fatih Sultan Mehmet.

At the Ottoman Empire Period the Grand Bazaar included different professions some of which are reflected today in the names of main roads and streets of the Bazaar: goldsmiths, jewelers, knife makers, helmet makers, gun makers, carpet makers, cloth merchants etc.


  • The Grand Bazaar is located inside thewalled city of Istanbul, situated in Mahmutpaşa area in the historical peninsula of Istanbul.
  • It stretches roughly from west to east between the mosquesof Beyazit and of Nuruosmaniye. The Bazaar can easily be reached from Sultanahmet and

Purpose of Construction

  • After the conquest of Istanbul, became the center of the Ottoman empire, so did its Grand Bazaar become the center of the empire’s trade network.
  • Inner Bedestan was a secure, compact stone marketplace that began as a small structure serving the city’s commercial needs
  • It grew to become the core of the Grand Bazaar.
  • The Bazaar also contributed to the Hagia Sophia construction.

Morphology / Space / Order 

The main street of Grand Bazaar is getting connected to the Süleymaniye Mosque that is perpendicular to the axis between Nuruosmaniye and Beyazit that we see on the east‐west direction, this wide east‐west directed street also constitute the main circulation axis.

The region between these main streets has a structure with a grid system in a way to include the antique markets. The Grand Bazaar embodies the Cartesian system, which does not aim at attracting the users in the main axis to come to the inner secondary axes.

  • Rectangular form
  • The Bazaar had not have today’s complex structure and developed surroundings of inns and depended associate facilities.
  • At the heart of the bazaar are two bedestans (domed market halls), strategically placed at the hub of the city’s commercial center and arranged to promote the migration of merchants from trade centers throughout the empire—such as Edirne, Bursa, and Ankara—to a single nucleus of trade in Istanbul.
  • İç (Inner)(Cevahir) Bedesten (Bizans döneminden kalan kısım) (Eski bedesten)
  • Sandal Bedesteni. ( Yeni bedesten )  (classical ottoman architecture)
  • The four adjacent sides and the immediate surrounding of the Bazaar were encircled by hans (the business buildings) each of which were a separate unit in themselves.
  • Orthogonal planning – cartesian grid stystem

Gridal plan of İstanbul enlarges the shopping activity with high permissiveness.

  • Total area: 110.868 m^2
  • Closed Area: 45.000 m^2


  • The Grand Bazaar has four main gates situated at the ends of its two main streets which intersect near the southwestern corner of the bazaar.
  • Kalpakcilar Street & yağlıkçılar Street (2 main Street)
  • Kalpakcilar Street connects the Bayezid Mosque and Bayezid Square to the west with Nuruosmaniye Mosque to the east;

Significant changes in 19 Centruy

  • Its function and administration, as well as the nature of its goods and the interior architecture have been transformed beginning in the second half of the nineteenth century.
  • By the 1960’s, changes in Turkish industry and economy and in the urban demographics of Istanbul had effectively replaced the traditional craft workshops with western-style boutiques and tourist shops.



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