Topkapı Palace (İstanbul - Turkey)
Topkapı Palace constructed by Fatih Sultan Mehmet, (the Conqueror) in 1478 has been the official residence of the Otoman Sultans and center of State Administration around 380 years until the construction of Dolmabahçe Palace by Sultan Abdülmecid. The palace having around 700.000 m.² area during the foundation years has currently 80.000 m.² area.
Topkapı Palace was evacuated by the accommodation of the Palace inhabitants in Dolmabahçe, Yıldız and in other palaces. Upon abandoning by the Sultans, Topkapı Palace where many officials resided had also never lost its importance. The palace was repaired from time to time. A special attention was taken for the annual maintenance of Mukaddes Emanetler Dairesi (Sacred Safekeeping Rooms) visited by the sultan and his family during Ramadan.
The opening of Topkapı Palace for visits as museum happened firstly in the reign of Sultan Abdülmecid (1839-1861). The belongings within Topkapı Palace Treasury was shown to the contemporary English ambassador. Later on, it has become a tradition to show the antics within the Topkapı Palace Treasury to the foreigners and during the era of Sultan Abdulaziz (1861-1876), showrooms are made in French style, and these antics are started to be shown to foreigners in these showrooms within Treasury. During the period when Sultan II Abdulhamid was dethroned (1876-1909), it was thought to open the Treasury Room to public visits on Sundays and Tuesdays, yet it never realized.
By the order of Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Topkapı Palace firstly affiliated to the Istanbul Asar-ı Atika Museums Directorate and opened to public visits on date of April 3, 1924, then it started to service as Treasury Chamberlain, after it was renamed as Treasury Directorate and finally it was renamed as Topkapı Palace Museum Directorate and it still continues its services.
Upon the performance of small repairs and taking some administrative cautions in 1924, Topkapı Palace was opened to service as a Museum on October 9, 1924. The sections opened to visit at that time were Kubbealtı, Arz Odası, Mecidiye Köşkü (Pavilion Mecidiye), Hekimbaşı Odası (Room of Chief Doctor), Mustafa Paşa Köşkü (Pavilion Mustafa Pasha) ve Bağdad Köşkü’dür (Pavilion Baghdad).