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index / Saffron scented Arasta
Along the rough cobblestone pavements in the bazaar of Safranbolu, the products displayed tell the stories of the old wooden mansions.

This wood-scented, saffron-coloured city has a 5000-year past. From the Hittites to the Byzantines to the Seljuk Turks, many civilisations have left their traces. Fatih Mehmet the Conqueror took the land from the Candarogullari Turks, thus making it possible for us to see the colourful traces of Ottoman culture as well. Safranbolu, in the inner Black-Sea region, was an important centre on the east-west trade route to Istanbul in the 13th and 14th centuries. Traders stopped to sleep and to exchange their goods. Naturally, extensive trade led to production. One street houses the saddle and harness makers, another the quilt makers and head scarf makers. On the street below, the ironmakers and blacksmiths, all incessantly producing. Lack of arable land in the area led to the development of production and trade among the people of this hilltop city. Practices maintained for centuries constitute a heritage that lives on.

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