Sahaf, an Arabic word, is the shop or person buying and selling old books, documents etc. Also sahaflar çarşısı means old bookshops.
Sahaflar Çarşısı The oldest Sahaflar Çarşısı in İstanbul is the one in Beyazıt located between Kapalıçarşı (Grand Bazaar) and Beyazıt Camii. When the construction was completed in 1460 some shops were allocated to book sellers. Due to the big İstanbul earthquake in 1894 the bookshops had to move where they are today. Old book sellers during the Ottoman Empire were affiliated with the guild of sahaf. They had ranks such as master, experienced apprentice and apprentice and also they opened the shops with a prayer every morning, just like other jobs.
Today sahaf shops are less than in the past but they are still serving bookworms, writers and academicians even though they face a big problem with the market of the test books. Some of the well-known sahaf shops in İstanbul are as follows:
Simurg is famous for their cats and run by three brothers in Aslıhan Pasajı in Beyoğlu since 1988. They have a collection of over 50 thousands books on the history of Turkey, archaeology, arts, literature, music and sociology. One of the oldest documents they have is the book of the Byzantium laws written by the emperor Justinien and printed in 1542 in Paris. Hasnun Galip Sokak, Beyoğlu www.imurg.com.tr
Turkuaz was founded 2001 and has a collection of thousand of books, documents, maps and engraving. They give consultancy service on old books and documents. They also exhibit collections of old publications and documents. Emir Nevruz Sokak, Panayia Apt, No: 12, Beyoğlu www.sahaf-turkuaz.com
Barış Kitabevi Beyoğlu, Kadıköy www.bariskitabevi.com
Müteferrika, Sakallı Lütfü Kadıköy www.muteferrika.com.tr
Sahaf Dil-Tarih Kadıköy
Sahaf Lamelif Beyoğlu www.lamelifsahaf.com
Sahaf Babil Bahariye Caddesi, Kafkas Pasajı, Kadıköy
Dağarcık Sahaf Kadıköy www.dagarciksahaf.com
Elif Kitabevi Beyazıt Sahaflar Çarşısı
Librarie De Pera Tünel, Beyoğlu www.ldp.com.tr
Enderun Kitabevi Vezneciler
Did you know?
Ibrahim Müteferrika (1674-1745) was the first publisher to run a printing press during the Ottoman Empire?