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Touring and Automobile Club of Turkey

Cedid Mehmed Efendi Madrasa

Bazaar Of Istanbul Arts, plays an important role in spreading our ancient arts.

Istanbul Sanatları Çarşısı is located within Cedid Mehmed Efendi Madrasa adjacent to Yeşil Ev Hotel at Sultanahmet Square. In our country, back in eighties when our traditional arts fell into oblivion and our architectural heritage was left to its fate, Touring and Automobile Association of Turkey which broke grounds for many times since its foundation in 1923 took another groundbreaking step. Cedid Mehmed Efendi Madrasa, which was in an abandoned state during restoration of Yeşil Ev, which was undertaken by TTOK, was leased from Directorate-General of Foundations in 1987 and restored, and turned into a bazaar where traditional arts are introduced after restoration of the same according to the classic style and keeping its madrasa characteristics intact. The bazaar bringing together craftsmen who could be described as last representatives of Istanbul arts where a different art is being performed in each room has opened its doors to visitors as the culture and arts center of the region and put at disposal of our national culture and tourism.

History of the Center
History of the Center

Unfortunately, we are not able to find sufficient information in resources about Cedid Mehmed Efendi Madrasa and its founder. Although the construction technique gives the impression that it was built in the 18th century, the fact that it has no tablet makes it impossible to exactly date the structure. When looking into Ottoman Registry in an effort to find information about identity of Cedid Mehmed Efendi who is said to be founder, no information was found about such figure. Therefore, it is believed that Cedid Mehmed Efendi was a local and had this madrasa built.

Cedid Mehmet Efendi Madrasa has a plan with a courtyard made of face stone. One can walk to the madrasa among shops lined up along Kabasakal Avenue and it is possible to step into the courtyard through a passage with cradle vault, after passing through a simple entrance with marble post. Such courtyard has a rectangular plan. Inside the courtyard a grave whose owner is unknown, a well and water reservoir. The courtyard is surrounded by a portico with a pointed arch carried by nine columns on three sides. Thin and marble columns at porticos are connected to one antoher with pointed arches. 12 madrasa cells with lead dome lie behind such porticos. Such madrasa rooms have a square plan, and they open into the courtyard with one door and one window. Cedid Mehmed Efendi Madrasa has a classroom with a square plan larger than cells, at a point of the madrasa coinciding with the corner of Kabasakal Avenue.

The madrasa, which is understood to have tedrîsat-ı tâliyye (secondary education) institution status according to old records, was closed on March 16th, 1924 as per the law on unification of education (Tevhid-i Tedrîsat Kanunu) and property of the madrasa passed to Directorate General of Foundations.

After remaining unoccupied for many years, rooms of Cedid Mehmed Efendi Madrasa were leased out by Directorate-General of Foundations. The structure that turned into a ruin serving as a place to stay for the homeless over the years was restored by Touring, and it was turned into a bazaar where our traditional arts, which were then about to fall into oblivion, are performed and gifted to Istanbul.

Now, craftsmen of calligraphy, illuminated manuscript, water marbling, tile, kat’ı (paper cutting), fabric dyeing, kitre doll, porcelain dyeing and hand embroidery are producing their works of art within Bazaar Of Istanbul Arts. Such craftsmen who are all qualified in their relevant subject matter perform their handicrafts at cells allocated by Touring to them, and they present priceless works produced to taste of handicrafts lovers.

Located at one of the most central places of Istanbul, Istanbul Sanatları Çarşısı plays a crucial role for introduction and popularization of our ancient handicrafts all around the world. Touring does its share painstakingly in terms of passing such handicrafts on to future in the most accurate way, which carry our cultural codes.

Works produced by our craftsmen are presented for sale in two interconnected shops, which are located at the front of the madrasa. Istanbul Kahvehanesi serves our visitors at two shops located at the front of the madrasa and within the inner courtyard so that art lovers can have rest after touring around the city and seek refuge from chaos of the city. Culture books printed by Touring can be purchased at Istanbul Book Seller. At the classroom of the madrasa, one can find select works of Touring Library.

History of the Center

Madrasa Before Restoration

Cedid Mehmet Efendi Madrasa
Cedid Mehmet Efendi Madrasa
Cedid Mehmet Efendi Madrasa
Cedid Mehmet Efendi Madrasa
Cedid Mehmet Efendi Madrasa
Cedid Mehmet Efendi Madrasa
Cedid Mehmet Efendi Madrasa
Cedid Mehmet Efendi Madrasa
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