Tarsus has always been a very wealthy city located on important trade routes throughout history and Kırkkaşık Bedesten serves as a covered bazaar here. When you enter through the doors, the dim atmosphere and local souvenirs, which you do not encounter often in daily life, will take you to a completely different world. We recommend that guests who come to Tarsus stop by here to buy original souvenirs and taste local drinks such as kaynar and Tarsusi coffee, which you can taste only in Çukurova. In addition to leather, silver and woven items, you can find souvenirs using Sahmeran motifs, one of the important elements of Çukurova culture.
The Story of Kırkkaşık Bedesten
Although the exact construction date of Kırkkaşık Bedesten is not known, it is estimated that it was built by İbrahim Bey, one of the Ramazanoğlu Beys, together with the Tarsus Ulu Mosque in 1579. The building, the first purpose of which was a soup kitchen, took this name because of the spoon reliefs on the exterior, which symbolizes this purpose (“kırk” means “forty” and “kaşık” means “spoon” in Turkish). The students of the nearby Kubat Pasha Madrasa also benefited from the soup kitchen where rice was served with wooden spoons for the poor, especially during Ramadan.
In the future, it was rented as a shop to provide income for the Tarsus Ulu Mosque.
The original version of Kırkkaşık Bedesten had a single door. The entrance in the west was high so that the caravan camels could enter. In 1956, the eastern door of the covered bazaar was opened in order to provide unity with the Ulu Mosque.
Kırkkaşık Bedesten, which is owned by the General Directorate of Foundations, was rented and restored by the Municipality of Tarsus in 2004.
Another feature of the covered bazaar, which is rented to the operators by the Municipality of Tarsus with a holistic approach to reflect the urban identity, is that all the shops are run by women.
Kırkkaşık Bedesten won the Historical Cities Union's special project award in 2005.
Where is Kırkkaşık Bedesten? Directions Information. How to go to Bedesten?
Kırkkaşık Bedesten is in the Şehitkerim neighborhood of Tarsus District of Mersin. It is located in a very central location, just across the Tarsus District Governorate.
To go to Kırkkaşık Bedesten, we recommend that you park your car in a suitable place after reaching Tarsus Town Center and walk around the historical and touristic values, all of which are within walking distance of each other. In this way, you will have visited the points in the old part of the district, which does not have many parking spaces, in a faster and more pleasant way, by traveling to the past.
To reach Kırkkaşık Bedesteni by public transport, after reaching Tarsus Town center by bus or train, you can use the city minibuses and buses that pass very close to the covered bazaar.
Places to be seen around Kırkkaşık Bedesten
Kırkkaşık Bedesten is at the center of Tarsus. All historical places listed respectively as, Makam Mosque, Ulu Mosque, Kırkkaşık Bedesten, Kubatpaşa Madrasah, St Paul Memorial Museum, Cleopatra Gate, Tarsus Museum, Ancient Roman Road, St. Paul's Well, and Old Tarsus Houses are all within walking distance. Our advice to visitors who come Tarsus by private vehicle, to leave their vehicles in a suitable place and visit all these points on foot. They will have had a pleasant time full of history from the ancient period to Turkish Republic.
Other nearby touristic spots:
Tarsus Waterfall: 2.3 km
Tarsus Zoo: 7 km
Eshabı Kehf Cave: 13 km
Taşkuyu Cave: 13 km
Sağlıklı Roman Road: 17 km