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Turks began to build closed areas for bathing since the fourteenth century. The Seljuk bath (located on the border of Turkey- Armenia) is thought to be the first hammam building of Anatolia.
Many hammams have been constructed all around of the Ottoman Empire primarily in the capital city Istanbul. Since then Turkish bath has been an indispensable symbol of Turkish culture with its pestemal, rubber, marble basin and the like. Turkish bath culture has been transferred from generation to generation and has reached to the present.
Also many spas have been built on a wide geography that the Ottoman Empire was located. The aim here was to good use of the hot spring water in the territory of the empire.
Some of the Ottoman Baths have been built adjacent to a mosque that inside of a building complex which, called as kulliye, others while have been built as a single building. In that period Hammams have been run by only the waqfs (charitable organisation). Maintenance and other expenses of mosques, medresseh and soup kitchen (place which served free food to the poor and to others, such as madrasah students) have been covered by the revenue of hammams. All the time Hammams have been protected well because of bringing revenue.
After the second half of the nineteenth century in Istanbul private hammams have been beginning to be built that not related to the waqfs.


Tellak (The Rubber) and Kulhanbeyi (The Rowdy) are two important characters
of the Turkish hammam

The attendant to wash the customers is called as rubber (tellak). Bath gloves and pestemals are the fixtures of the hammam that used by the rubbers.
In the old days, rubbers weren't using the same type and color of   pestemals with the customers. They were using a black silk pestemal called as futa. Customers were wrapping pestemals in color. Nowadays in both customers and rubbers use the red striped peshtemal on the cream-colored or yellow ground.
Rowdy (kulhanbeyi) was the star of the hammam culture.
Narrowly molded and maroon colored fez, dark pants, light-colored shirt, vest, a jacket on the shoulder was the classic dressing style of the rowdy.
Formerly, the assistant of the stoker (working in the boiler room of a Turkish bath) was called as rowdy (kulhanbeyi).  The job of this person was making a fire to warm up the bath and supplying the necessary equipment. The rowdy character was used in many work of Turkish literature. In these days, this adjective is only used for hoodlums.


Islam and hammams

In Islamic religion ablution is obligatory for praying and other worships. Therefore, great importance is given to bathing.
In fact, in the first period of Islam, hammam have been banned to Muslims. Subsequently, firstly the men and then the women have been allowed to go to the bathhouse with the condition to use pestemal. Thus, the foundations of the double bath application have been laid and this application has come up today with the Turkish Baths.
Double bath consists of two buildings that located adjacent to each other which have got separated entrances for men and women.
In those days, women were bathing in the day time, as for men were bathing very early in the morning or late at night in the hammam of single bath application.

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