It is said that an old bazaar called Makron Envalos previously existed where the current Egyptian Bazaar stands.
The Egyptian Bazaar with its L-shape structure is located on the west side of the New Mosque (Yeni Cami). The year following the mosque’s construction, the "bazaar" section of the complex has been added by Mustafa Ağa, the head-architect of the Ottoman Palace. The main reason for it being called the “Egyptian Bazaar” is that it was built by the taxes collected from Cairo, Egypt. After the 18th century, this name began to be commonly used. The bazaar was originally called the “Valide Bazaar” or the “New Bazaar,” then it was later called the “Mısır Çarşısı” (Egyptian Bazaar). It has six doors total. The part near the Haseki Gate was designed as a double-storied structure and the upper floor also used as a court hall where cases between tradesmen and people were heard.
At the intersection of the the short and long branches of the bazaar an area is called the “Prayer Field” (Dua Meydanı) is located where an “Adhan ( Muslim call to prayer) Kiosk” is found. This section, designed and built out of wood, is the most notable part of the Bazaar. Once the bazaar opens, an officer in charge calls a prayer for the tradesmen and wishes them a high income.
Not only have spices been sold in the Egyptian Bazaar, but all sorts of medicines were sold during the old times in the bazaar as well. Signs used to be posted in conspicuous area of the shops. Most of the medicines were prepared according to the recipes from the book, “Nüzhet-ül Fi Tercüme-Afiyet” (A good appetite). Today, the bazaar has jewelry stores, herb and spice sellers, gift shops, etc.
The Egyptian Bazaar suffered heavy losses during the two large fires in 1691 and 1940. It took its present shape in 1940 after being restored by the Municipality of Istanbul.
Translated by Mr. Irfan KOKSAL