Their name is written in different ways and with different alphabets: bazar, čaršija, çarshija, çarşı …The meaning, however, is the same: meeting and exchange place, Balkan Ottoman heritage. OBC has travelled through the whole region to find where they are still alive, where they have been deleted from town memories, where they still symbolize something more than mere tourist attractions. To discover that they represent an interesting point of view for understanding Balkan society more in depth. A dossier realised by OBC in the context of the SeeNet II Programme.
Block: Mappe varie
The origins of the word
Ottoman markets can be singled out from other modern markets of Balkan towns partly by their names. Today, as during the Ottoman Empire, oriental words are used; they have been adapted according to the conventions of different alphabets and the jargon of local languages. Čaršija for the Serbo-Croat-Bosnian areas, çarshija for Albanian speakers, чаршија for Macedonians. The term comes from the Turkish çarş that means precisely “market”. The same public spaces are also called pazars, a word that most probably has its origin in the Persian bāzār ( بهاچار) - literally “the place of prices ”.