The Mystery Story Behind the Turkish Delight

Haci Bekir Sweet Shop

Istanbul’s Haci Bekir sweet shop has been moving Turkish Delight for two centuries, generally because of the business wise of ages of ladies.

On a shady summer evening in Istanbul, my ship was gradually moving toward the port of Eminonu. The view from the deck is something I can never become acclimated to. Regardless of how often I do a similar stumble over the Bosporus. As the sun set, the old city was showered in a brilliant red shading. And the outlines of the fabulous mosques took me back to the Footrest period.

Among the numerous leftovers of the Footstool times dispersed around this tremendous city, possibly the littlest  however without a doubt the most delectable  sits only a short stroll from the port. On a little road behind the Yeni Cami (New Mosque) in Istanbul’s Bahçekapı locale. It is the Haci Bekir shop, which has sold Turkish enjoyments to sweet-toothed occupants and guests for over two centuries.

Haci Bekir’s customer-facing facade is exquisite yet prudent. Inside Hande Celalyan was hanging tight for me. She, alongside her sister, Nazlı Imre, are the ones in control today. “Presently we are two young ladies who run this place. We are the fifth era in the privately-run company,” Celalyan gladly let me know. Signaling to a heavenly smorgasbord loaded with many kinds of Turkish pleasure, among different desserts.

Running the nation’s most seasoned organization – and one of the 100 most established organizations on the planet – isn’t a simple undertaking. Particularly as a lady in a nation where men are as yet the prevalent providers. As indicated by late research by the World Business Culture, just 24% of Turkish ladies are effectively utilized.

In spite of the way that the Turkish constitution offers measure up to rights for people in the work environment. This, notwithstanding, has never been an issue in the Haci Bekir organization. “Ladies were constantly refreshing [in our family]. A preference against ladies in control was never an issue,” Celalyan let me know.

Opened in 1777 by Celalyan’s incredible extraordinary granddad, confectioner Haci Bekir Effendi, the shop is in charge of making the Turkish Delight we know today. Referred to in Turkey as lokum, these little, jellied blocks are Turkey’s most darling sweet.

Brought up in Araç, a town in northern Turkey’s Kastamonu region. Bekir Effendi chose to move to display day Istanbul, the capital and business focus of the Footrest Domain, to open his lokum business. At the point when cornstarch was first made in the mid-nineteenth Century.

Bekir Effendi modified his unique formula, supplanting flour with cornstarch as a coupling fixing. Which gave the sweet the unmistakable chewiness for which it is currently known.


His special creation – which is a similar formula the family utilizes today, and one they have kept the mystery for ages – picked up a reputation all through the city. With the expression of the delightful sweet, in the end, achieving the Footstool Royal residence. Sultan Mahmud II, who was administering at the time, delegated him boss confectioner to the castle. A significant privilege that his family held until the finish of the Footstool Realm in 1920.

Delicious Turkish Delight

Regardless of the way that a man started the business, ladies have been in the driver’s seat of the organization for as far back as century. “There is no contrast between taking care of business or a lady insofar as you’re great at what you’re doing,” Celalyan said.

Celalyan was just 25 years of age when she went up against an influential position in the Haci Bekir organization in 1986. Despite the fact that she had graduated with a Graduate degree in business from the College of Zürich, she was still new and unpracticed in the business world. In any case, she had a solid female good example: her incredible grandma Reşide.

Celalyan’s granddad Ali Muhiddin was exceptionally youthful when he was depended with running the Haci Bekir shop after his dad passed away. He depended vigorously on his mom Reşide, who upheld him as his most trusted and darling consultant.

Under Reşide’s attentive gaze, Haci Bekir developed into a globally known business. Like his precursor, Muhiddin held the situation of boss confectioner to the Stool Royal residence in the last long stretches of the realm, and in 1911, he was conceded the title of boss confectioner by the royal residence of Egypt too.

Throughout the following couple of decades, Haci Bekir’s sweets were applauded by sustenance commentators in New York City and Paris. “Amid their time it was the brilliant time of the organization,” Celalyan clarified.

While Muhiddin was the essence of Haci Bekir, Reşide remained with her child as an equivalent colleague. While in the meantime bringing up her three other kids. She likewise helped her child lead business universally. Which was remarkable for ladies to do at the time (she was one of the primary ladies to hold an international ID from the recently settled Republic of Turkey).

Also, Reşide partook in philanthropy work for which she was granted a decoration from the Footstool Red Bow Affiliation. Which has advanced into the Turkish Red Bow Society, the biggest compassionate association in the nation. “She was a genuine cutting edge lady comparatively radical,” Celalyan said.

Like the Hassock sultanate, the Haci Bekir lokum shop has been passed from one age to the next. As Muhiddin’s single kid, Aliye Şahin (Celalyan’s mom). Turned into the main lady to formally maintain the business in 1974. She at that point passed the shop on to Celalyan and her sister.


“We were altogether conceived in this business and we have it in our blood. No one constrained us,” Celalyan let me know. “We feel it as a social legacy in excess of a business.” Celalyan’s 29-year-old girl, Leyla, is as of now working in the shop and will probably go up against a position of authority close by her sibling Sahan.

A large number of the shop’s workers can likewise guarantee generational connections to Haci Bekir. A large portion of them are the relatives of the simple first representatives.  “The proprietor’s family, as well as our bosses and clients, as well. We have a lot of clients who know the item from their grandparents. Everything is changing so rapidly on the planet, so in the event that you see something commonplace from your youth it makes you feel good.”

Today, the Haci Bekir business incorporates five stores inside Istanbul, and they dispatch their acclaimed Turkish Delight to clients everywhere throughout the world. While Turkish Delight is Haci Bekir’s most prominent item, the shops likewise move hard confections, nut glues and halva, and in addition bread rolls, cakes and baked goods.

The mystery of their prosperity is development. “We need to stay aware of the patterns and not remain just with the conventional tastes. Generally, both you and the clients will get exhausted,” Celalyan let me know as I bit on a ginger-seasoned Turkish Delight. Appreciating its warm, somewhat sharp taste. Despite the fact that the pistachio and rose flavors are the blockbusters. The shop additionally moves mint, cinnamon, orange, lemon, pomegranate, stick and even chocolate Turkish Delight.

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