In the regions where Turkish commercial life was particularly vibrant, there were shopping districts formed by galleries of shops on the side of the bazaar that faced the street. These chiefly functioned as places in which artisans sharing the same profession could conduct their business, but at the same time, were partly devoted to the manufacture of goods. In the artisan’s bazaars in old Turkish cities influenced by Ottoman tradition business was conducted according to a definite system and based or rules of ethical business practise. According to this system, every group of artisans would institute among themselves a guild that was association acting in the interests of their particular trade. Every artisan was obliged to be a member of his own guild, and to pay a certain subsidy to belong to it. Within the guild, various professional levels existed, such as young apprentice, experienced apprentice, and expert; in order to attain a higher level, it would be necessary to demonstrate a certain level of achievement. To pass through these various levels depended on permission being granted by the master. After becoming an expert, a tradesman connected to the guild would not be able to open a shop in the artisan’s bazaar without securing the permission of the master, and this permit would be granted with a ceremony. The guilds also fulfilled other duties such as finding a shop for those artisans who had not yet achieved the authority to open their own, and to lend capital.

The Mill

Milling is a necessary procedure to soften grain and to bring it to a consistency appropriate for mixing with water and cooking. Primitive societies employed natural rock formations for grinding grain.

Begining in the Neolithic period, until the 5th century B.C. instead of natural rock formations, grain would be crushed between a portable bottom stone that had a hollow in its centre, and a top stone with a shape that allowed it to be held in the hand.

After the 5th century B.C., the top stone was made larger, with a hole left in its middle; it was then possible to pour the grain through it onto the bottom stone. Later, a turning rod was added to the top stone, which made the work of grinding even easier.

Mills on a larger scale, turned by draft animals such as donkeys and horses, seem to have sprung up in the Mediterranean basin in the second century B.C… It is known with certainty that mills utilizing such power were in use in the first century B.C.

Since traditional experience and physical power are of prime importance in local life in agricultural societies, their technological developments often come down to the present day basically unchanged.

The Turkish bath finds its origins in the Roman bath system. In these eras, the baths were not merely places for physical cleansing, but also served as locations for massage and exercise, and for conversation.

The Saadet Hatun Bath

The influence of the bathing culture that had such an important place in the Roman period lasted on into the middle of the Byzantine period, and was then forgotten both in Europe and the Mediterranean countries, but later emerged again among the Turks in an even more vivid fashion. During the Seljuk and Ottoman empire in Anatolia, a huge number of baths of high cultural and functional value were constructed.

Until about fifty years ago, the baths were places that were respected by rich and poor a like, and were tradition-bound social institutions with special regulations. Traditionally, one part of the wedding ceremony would take place in the baths. On the last day of the wedding, the bride would be taken to the bath, and would be bathed to the accompaniment of music and singing; after this finished, while leaving the bath, the bride would kiss the hands of her elders and receive their blessing. Male attendants would bathe the men, and female attendants the women.

In the baths, utensils such as soap, facial clay, and depilatory agents would be employed; according to traditinal bathing practise, they would be employed after steaming oneself and being rubbed down with a towel. Rich people would be bathed with finely perfumed pure soap, and the poor with normal soap and clay. Depilatory agents would be applied to remove unwanted body hair.

With the district of Selçuk, there are seven old Turkish baths known to date. One of these baths, according to its inscription, is called the Saadet Hatun Bath. Although it is not clear exactly who Saadet Hatun is, it is believed that she was a prominent individual from the clan of the Aydınoğlu rulers. The sixteenth-century bath exhibits several special features in regard to the archaeological conventions of traditional Turkish baths. It has three sections, for cold, lukewarm, and hot temperatures. In 1972, the Ephesos Museum finished restoration of the bath, which had lain in ruins until 1970. Along with the caravansaray and the mosque on Ayasuluk, it formed a complex of buildings.

Evil-Eye Beads 

The numerous evil-eye beads found in prehistoric excavations in Anatolia are the precursors of beads manufactured today in Görece and Kemalpaşa in Aegean basin. After tha glass is melted and coloured in a special kiln at 900 to 1000 degrees centigrade, the desired quantity of glass is removed with an iron dowel and shaped into a bead. Since the beads are still used a great deal as amulets, blue is the most common color. These days, however, eye beads are also produced in various colors for use as Jewellery, key chains, and worry beads.

The evil-eye bead workshop at the Ephesos Museum Artisan’s Bazaar Exhibit was brought from the district of Kemalpaşa, and contains a working kiln. All of the eye beads on display are newly-made, and we bring to your attention that the workshop is not merely an exhibit, but also a store.
The Production Of Turkish Yataghan Swords

A Yatağan is a Turkish sword 50 to 100 cm. long that curves gently from handle to point. It first came into use at the beginning of the fourteenth century.

The blade is constructed from a high-quality metal dowel, and the handle from bone. The sword would be carried hanging from a thick sash at the waist.

The regions in which these swords were produced carried the general name of Yataghan. The Yataghan districts within the provinces of Denizli and Muğla manufactured swords for the Ottoman army for hundreds of years.


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