Haci Bekir

Hacı Bekir Effendi, earning the title Hacı after his pilgrimage to Mecca between 1817 – 1820, had come to İstanbul from Araç, Kastamonu in 1777, opening a small shop in Bahçekapı and selling confections such as lokums and hard candies which he personally produced. Hacı Bekir today has a proud past of four centuries with delicacies relished in five continents.

In confectionery production which started in the 16th century in Turkey, honey and molasses were used as sweeteners, and flour was used for binding water and attaining the desired texture. By the 19th century, sugar refineries were set up in Europe and their produce began to come to Turkey under the name "loaf sugar". Confectioner Hacı Bekir would bray and melt this sugar, and then add rose petals, cinnamon, gum mastic, orange or lemon to produce hard candies of various flavors and colors.

Hacı Bekir Effendi also introduced the use of starch, which was being experimented by German scientist Constantin Kirchhoff, instead of flour; and using the combination of sugar and starch, he created and improved lokum, which is an irreplaceable delicacy of our cuisine and still inimitable by the rest of the world.