Most Turkish bazaars were built over 650 years before construction on Wolfchase Galleria ever began. Many bazaars were built by sultans and other dignitaries during the Ottoman Empire, and were a part of mosque complexes. These buildings played an important role in the modernization of Ottoman trade. The world’s biggest emporium is the Covered Bazaar of Istanbul, which served as the seat of the Ottoman government from 1453 until the end of World War I.

The Covered Bazaar was built around 1460 by Sultan Mehmet II, who conquered Constantinople (which later became Istanbul). A labyrinth of passageways and corridors, it has more than 4,000 (that’s right… 4,000) shops, 2,000 workshops and numerous vendors making and selling everything, including jewelry, handwoven carpets, antiques, ceramics, leatherware, alabaster, copper goods, furniture, fabrics, blue jeans and thousands of other items. The Covered Bazaar also has a dozen restaurants, 60 sandwich buffets, two mosques, six mescits (small mosques), several barber shops and a coffeehouse. An average of 500,000 people visit the complex every day!

While your bazaar may not be quite as large as the Covered Bazaar in Istanbul, it can be just as much fun. Explain Turkish bazaars to your students, and explain to them that, throughout the Turkish lessons, your classroom will be converted into a Turkish bazaar. As the teacher, the bazaar, of course, should bear your name… like the Grand Robertson Bazaar. Allow your students to work with you to create and paint an impressive sign to go on your classroom door. Decorate it with traditional Turkish designs.

Each day, throughout your classroom lesson on Turkey, when your students enter the Bazaar, they may learn and experience Turkish cuisine, Turkish handicrafts and, possibly while taking a break from shopping for a cup of Turkish coffee, maybe even enjoy a traditional Turkish tale or game. Of course, if they want to know the prices of the thousands of items sold throughout a bazaar, they’d better also learn a few Turkish numbers, as well. That, and more, are included throughout the pages of your Grade Division of this Curriculum Guide. It offers your students a fun and educational exploration of the exciting country of Turkey!

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