Zincirli Bazaar, a historical shopping mall in Gaziantep
Zincirli Bedesten (bazaar), which was the center of commercial life in the southeastern province of Gaziantep in the past, attracts great attention today. There are 73 shops in Zincirli Bedesten, which was built in an L shape in 1718 by Darendeli Hüseyin Pasha.
Since its establishment, it continued its function until a fire in 1957. The bazaar, which was reopened in 1965 and used for animal trade and butchery, was restored in 2008 by the Regional Directorate of Foundations.
Various products ranging from local products to textiles and souvenirs are sold in the bazaar, which is still serving as a shopping mall.
A shopkeeper in the bazaar, Eyüp Karaslan, told the state-run Anadolu Agency that the bazaar was used as a butcher market in 1988, where he worked as an apprentice.
Stating that Zincirli Bedesten was restored in 2006, Karaaslan noted, “It started to serve as a tourist bazaar. I have been selling souvenirs here for 10 years. It has a unique structure. It is also known in the region. There are 73 shops in the bazaar. Here, handicrafts, domestic products and Far Eastern handicrafts are sold. A lot of visitors come here as gastronomy tours are organized to the bazaar.”
Another shopkeeper, Şemsettin Uzunkaya said that the bazaar has been serving as a shopping mall since the 18th century.
He said that it was gained in tourism after its restoration, Uzunkaya said, “I sell natural stones here. This is a small version of Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. It is a privilege to work in a historical place. It is cool in summer and warm in winter.”
Fatih Gökgöz said that he was selling intelligence games. “The bazaar is completely made of stone. It is a place to be seen and visited. This place was used in the Antep War. It served as a butchery for a while. It attracts a lot of tourists, too,” he added.
Ahmet Öznişastacı, another shopkeeper, said that top floor was demolished in the fire, adding, “This is an important place for the city. It is better known in recent years. People from all around Turkey come to the see the bazaar.”