Topkapi Palace is a source of pride for Turks (Cemal Yurtaş / Getty)
Probably no country reveals the secrets of the Ottoman Empire in Turkey like Topkapi Palace (High Gate in Turkish) in Istanbul, where the sultans of the Ottoman Empire lived for about 391 years, since Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror ordered its construction in 1478, and from it The affairs of the Ottoman Empire were run by about 4,000 people, including the sultan, his family, servants, some guards, officials and employees.
Dolmabahçe Palace did not receive light from Topkapi, although Sultan Abdul Majid turned it into the seat of the Sultanate and state administration. in the month of Ramadan.
The Turks say Sultan Abdul Hamid proposed turning Topkapi Palace into a museum after his predecessor Abdul Majid transferred some of his treasures. Sultan Abdul Aziz continued the mission to make the palace a museum for the general public for five days a week. But the whole idea was not translated into reality, only after the creation of the republic and the expansion of the Ottoman Empire, in the time of Mustafa Kemal, who on April 3, 1924 turned the palace with all its wings into a museum. .
And since 2014, the largest of the Ottoman Empire palaces and its decision kitchen, due to the large number of visitors, especially the Haramlek sector, alerted the Turkish state to undergo restoration and repair operations that were added 3 previous restorations. . Turkish tourism expert Sardar Donmez explained to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that the restoration included in the first phase the classic Anatolian house, courtyard, ladies’ rooms and maids, removing concrete plaster and repairing paintings and tiles. , preserving the dome and vault as they were. Subsequently, in 2019 the restoration was restored. The Harem Department and the hospital received the largest number of visitors when Topkapi Palace was transferred to the Administration of National Palaces after the Ministry of Culture. and Tourism was responsible for its maintenance and operation. The delivery and completion date was set last year, but the Corona epidemic delayed implementation completion and today restoration is in the final stages.
As for whether the restoration will include only existing facilities or witness an expansion, Donmez says: “The area of the harem section will increase due to the large number of visitors to this pavilion and the warehouses adjacent to the pavilion. will be open to visitors. Rather, it is a residence for all women who meet the needs of army and palace employees. Harem Hospital is for women. It is expected that all wings, including the ladies ‘apartments and maids’ suites, will be open to visitors soon after the complete renovation is completed.
Turkish sources indicate that about 80 percent of the restoration work of the imperial sanctuary at Topkapi Palace has been completed, after the restoration and equipping of new parts of the palace sanctuary, such as the Sultan’s escort courtyard and concubines and the Harem Hospital to be completed. first time visitors.
The head of Topkapi Palace, Ilhan Kocaman, says: “The shrine in Topkapi Palace is divided into two parts, the first is the residence of the sultans and princes with their wives and daughters and the second is about the servants of the harem who care. of their works in addition to the rooms in which the concubines live.In this section there are also bathrooms.It is located opposite the courtyard of the maid and the maid ‘s hospital located below. He adds during his recent statements: “The area of the Haramlek section that is currently being visited will increase. The completed restoration operations we have carried out in this section have reached about 80 per cent of its total area and the works have taken Two years to complete. “We look forward to opening these parts of the Harem section in a few months.” He claims that the sanctuary is one of the most interesting and impressive parts of Topkapi Palace.
There are ten facts that shorten the toil of anyone trying to know the details of Topkapi Palace, which is still a source of pride for the Turks to this day that they are the descendants of those who lived in this palace and ruled over regions from East to East. Magreb.
1- Topkapi Palace was built in 1478, with an area of about 400,000 square meters and is considered one of the largest and oldest palaces in the world. It is one of the few palaces that has retained its splendor to this day.
2- In 1985, Topkapi Palace was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
3- The palace includes the Haramlek section in which the Sultan holds his favorite wives. This 400-room section is overseen by the Sultan’s mother.
4- The palace includes a mosque, a mosque and a majlis, and the palace is designed to accommodate more than 4000 people.
5- The palace was designed in the form of nomadic Ottoman camps.
6- The sultans of the Ottoman Empire spent about 391 years in the palace, until the nineteenth century. At that time, Istanbul was the capital of the Ottoman Empire. In 1924 the palace was turned into a museum for tourists and visitors.
7- The Palace Museum contained many rare treasures, including the most precious diamonds in the world, and the 86-carat spunmaker diamond is one of the largest.
8- The palace is distinguished by the presence of a fountain outside the gate of the palace, which was built by Sultan Ahmad III in 1728 when he was celebrating the tulips and a special feast was held for them. The celebration of the Tulip Festival in Istanbul continues today.
9- A large place in Topkapi Palace is dedicated to cuisine, due to the interest of the Ottomans in the art of cooking. The palace included a large kitchen containing about 10,000 pieces of porcelain and kitchenware, including the “Longuan” bowl, which was needed in the palaces of sultans and princes when it was rumored in the fourteenth century that the bowl changed color when touched. poisonous food.
10- The Holy Pavilion, which contains many archeological and historical objects, including antiquities of the Prophet Muhammad, such as a sword and a robe, some hair from the Prophet’s beard and one of his teeth.
Topkapi Palace is located in the heart of the historic area of the area “Jan Kurtaran – Al-Fateh” near the Golden Horn Bay and the Marmara Sea. And near the covered market, “Beyazit”, the center of launching cruises on the famous coast “Eminonu”.