Istanbul`s Grand Bazaar turns 550

The Grand Bazaar was established in 1461 by Mehmed the Conqueror.

Istanbul: Over 3,000 people gathered on Sunday in Istanbul`s historic Grand Bazaar to celebrate its 550th anniversary.

Established in 1461 by Mehmed the Conqueror eight years after the conquest of Istanbul, the Grand Bazaar is one of the biggest covered bazaars in the world.

It has 58 covered streets and over 1,200 shops that attract between 250,000 to 400,000 visitors daily.

Istanbul Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu said that 550 years ago, Mehmed picked Istanbul to become the centre of world trade and the city was going to do whatever it needed to maintain this tradition.

"The Grand Bazaar has done well in protecting its historic mission, and people from all around the world gather here to smell its unique air," he was quoted as saying by Xinhua.