Sarayburnu - Istanbul - Turkey
GPS : 41°01'00.0"N 28°58'54.0"E / 41.016667, 28.981667
Sepetçiler Pavilion is one of the pavilions that remained intact to this day, located in the external garden of Topkapı Palace on the sea walls. The construction of Sepetçiler Pavilion was started in 1591 by Grand Vizier Sinan Pasha in Sultan Murat III’s era (1574-1595) and was completed in the first year of the grand vizier office of Ferhat Pasha.
The materials that were used in the construction of the pavilion, built on the walls from the era of Byzantium Emperor Theodosius II, were brought from various places of Anatolia: the red marble was brought from Darıca and Rusçuk, tiles came from İznik, and iron accessories and nails came from Samakoy and Salonika.
According to the text on the epigraph on the door arch of the pavilion; the pavilion, which was located within the borders of Topkapı Palace in the era when it was constructed, was reconstructed in 1643 in Sultan İbrahim’s era (1640-1658), and renewed in 1739 in Sultan Mahmut I’s era (1730-1754).
It was repaired in the middle of the 19th century. Being one of the most magnificent structures constructed during the Ottoman era, there are several rumors about Sepetçiler Pavilion. One of them is that this pavilion was called Sepetçiler because the old buildings in Edirne Palace were called Sepetçi or Sultani.
According to another rumor, Sultan Ibrahim received help from sepetçi traders (basket makers) when he decided to reconstruct the old manor here, as he protected the mat makers and basket makers located behind this pavilion. In reality, basket makers continued their work around the pavilion after its construction and the pavilion actually received its name because of the basket makers located there.
Sepetçiler Pavilion’s significance for the urban life of Istanbul was that it is where the imperial boats were docked. Before the railway cut off the connection of the pavilion with Topkapı Palace, sultans’ boats were protected here mostly were small boats, and 5-6 boat houses for galleys here.
Sepetçiler Pavilion has an architectural layout with face stone square plan, domed, with iwans at four edges. The dome is wooden and hidden inside the roof. The parts with iwans effused with cantilevers from the square location with domes over its display a half square plan. There is a three part double partite entrance with a dome in the middle in front of this location. There are service areas under this area.
Having been abandoned for a long period of time, the building was restored by the Directorate General of Old Works and Museums in 1980. After the restorations made in 1980 by the Directorate General of Foundations in 1980, it was used as the International Press Centre of the Directorate General of Press. The Eminonu Service Foundation restored the pavilion in 1998. Sepetçiler Pavilion has served in various capacities, such as a restaurant in addition to as the Directorate General of Press, and was used as the Project Office of European Capital of Culture until June 2011.
Allocated to Turkish Green Crescent Society as of 2011, Sepetçiler Pavilion is now used as the General Headquarters building of the Turkish Green Crescent Society. The Green Crescent is a non-profit and non-governmental organization that empowers youth and adults with factual information about drugs so they can make informed decisions against different kind of addictions including alcohol, tobacco, drug, gambling etc. The Green Crescent was established in 1920 and given the status of Public-Beneficial Society (public beneficial society status is given to the organizations that serve for public benefits) by the Turkish government in 1934.
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