A Break on the Silk RoadTrade

Bursa had been an important thread and weavingcenter both in Ottoman State and throughout theworld since the 15th century. Bursa was not just acenter of production, but also a distribution point ofsilky products which were sold across the entireworld. The fabrics of Bursa were sold all around theworld as well. The tradesmen in Bursa were veryrich because of the silky fabrics. The passing of theimportant routes of Anatolia from Bursa, was animportant factor enabling the trade develop in Bursa.In 1561, Bursa was producing values as much as⁄ of Istanbul’s, namely 333.119 akça in total.In the first stage, the raw silk was brought fromIran, through Erzincan, Tokat, and Ankara road andprocessed here. In the 15th and the 16th centuriesBursa was an important trade center from whichsilk and spice routes of the world were passingthrough. Before Meflrutiyet I, the highest raw silkexport was realized by Bursa. In the 2nd half of the19th century, 90% of exports made from Bursa weregoing to France and the entire export was consistedof silk thread tracted from cocoons, and cocoonsof silkworm.For centuries, the Bazaar of Bursa was not just aphysical site¸ but a whole system with its own functionsand institutions. Inside, there were inns suchas ‹pek Kapan›, Un Kapan› in which products weredetermined, registered, weighed and taxes werecollected. These Inns were seperate units in the Kapal›çarfl›. Each unit in the Bazaar was seperate fromthe others and had its own managers. State was appointingfunctionaries whom were chosen by thetradesmen themselves. The prices of the sold goodsand their quality were determined by these functionaries.