Thursday, November 23, 2017


Sultanahmet, Fatih - Istanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°00'47.1"N 28°59'07.4"E / 41.013076, 28.985388

Third Courtyard



It is one of the first structures constructed by Fatih Sultan Mehmed in 1962-63 to form the plan of Topkapı Palace. This structure has also quadruple arrangement like the other structures at the Palace. It is formed by the connection of the other open room at Bosphorus side via a marmite terrace to the three rooms overlooking the Marmara Sea. The villas, solid walls and two big vaulted storehouses, and another storehouse from Byzantine Empire consist of the main walls of inner palace.

The Conqueror's Pavillon, also called the Conqueror's Kiosk (Fatih Köşkü) and the arcade of the pavilion in front is one of the pavilions built under Sultan Mehmed II and one of the oldest buildings inside the palace. It was built circa in 1460, when the palace was first constructed, and was also used to store works of art and treasure. It houses the Imperial Treasury (Hazine-i Amire).

The pavilion originally consisted of three rooms, a terrace overlooking the Sea of Marmara, a basement and adjoining hamam, or Turkish bath. It consists of two floors raised on a terrace above the garden, built at the top of promontory on a cliff with a magnificent view from its porch on the Sea of Marmara and the Bosporus. It has a quad venue layout such as the other Sultan’s pavilions inside the Palace.

The lower floor consisted of service rooms, while the upper floor was a suite of four apartments and a large loggia with double arches. The first two rooms are covered with a dome of considerable height. All the rooms open onto the Third Courtyard through a monumental arcade. The colonnaded portico on the side of the garden is connected to each of the four halls by a door of imposing height. The capitals of the imposing capitals are shrunken Ionic in form and date probably from the 18th century.

The pavilion was used as the treasury for the revenues from Egypt under Sultan Selim I. Before this period, under Sultan Mehmed II and Sultan Bayezid II, these apartments must have been the most agreeable rooms in the palace. During excavations in the basement, a small Byzantine baptistery built along a trefoil plan was found.

Sultan Mahmut I (18th century) added Elçi Hazinesi (Treasury of Ambassador) to the treasury portico, the portico and the terrace parts of which was closed by walls in Yavuz Sultan Selim's period. In 19th century, the villa to which French style vitrines were added in order to be displayed for important visitors became one of the early examples of Turkish Museum.

The Fatih Pavilion bears the specific features of imperial architecture, with its spacious rooms, its terrace in iwan appearance, its vestibule with portico, its high gate behind a couple of porphyry columns, the deep windows and niches in its walls and its magnificent fireplace. The Conqueror’s Pavilion is the cut-stone monumental application of the traditional form of home with outer hall.

The building’s massive walls and two vaulted cellars are supported by a sub-structure covering a small Byzantine baptistery built along a trefoil plan, found during excavations in the basement. The structure which had originally wooden ceilings and was covered with lead-coated roofing was renovated during the 16th Century to acquire its present appearance.

The Conqueror’s Pavilion which Fatih Sultan Mehmet had initially built as a contemplation lodge soon turned out to become a place where the items of the treasury were conserved. As the treasure was substantially enriched following the Egyptian expedition of Yavuz Sultan Selim, terraces and porches were closed through walls in order to protect the highly valuable objects.

During the reign of Sultan Mahmut I (1730-1754) the green porphyry columns in front of the main door were immured so as to create a new space called Ambassadorial Treasure (Elçi Hazinesi). Thus, the Pavilion’s monumental portal and its whole façade facing the Third Courtyard were closed with doors and windows.

Furthermore, a jewellery workshop was added onto the building in 1766 for the on-site repair of the valuable articles in the Treasury Chamber collection. All of these additions were finally removed in subsequent periods restoring the building to its 16th Century appearance.

The Building, today used as Treasury Section (Hazine Seksiyonu), was restored in 2000 and renewed by replacing new earthquake-resistant, modern vitrines.


WEB SITE : Topkapı Palace Museum Directorate

E-Mail :
Phone : +90 212 512 0480
Fax : +90 212 526 9840

These scripts and photographs are registered under © Copyright 2017, respected writers and photographers from the internet. All Rights Reserved.


Sultanahmet, Fatih - Istanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°00'46.8"N 28°59'04.5"E / 41.013000, 28.984569

Third Courtyard


The Audience Chamber, also known as Audience Hall or Chamber of Petitions (Arz Odası or Arz Dîvanhanesi), located right behind the Gate of Felicity and integrating with it through its eaves is the primary venue embodying the Sultan’s direct contact with the state administration. This is the place referred to as the High Office (makam-ı muallâ) in Sultan’s decrees. Sultans used to receive ambassadors of foreign states in this chamber.

It is also the venue where they ceremoniously handed in the Sacred Banner (Sancak-ı Şerif) to the commanders of expeditionary forces going on a military campaign. Behind the Audience Chamber on the eastern side is the Dormitory of the Expeditionary Force. On Sundays and Tuesdays, i.e. the customary Audience Days (Arz Günleri) and also following meetings of the Imperial Council (Dîvân-ı Hümâyûn), Sultans held here private consultations with state officials.

This is just in the opposite of Bab-üs Saade and it goes united with its fringes to the gate. Main entrance to the Audience Chamber, with the small fountain of Sultan Süleyman I to the right, and the large gifts window to the left. The Audience Chamber, also known as Audience Hall or Chamber of Petitions (Arz Odası) is located right behind the Gate of Felicity, in order to hide the view towards the Third Courtyard. This square building is an Ottoman kiosk, surrounded by a colonnade of 22 columns, supporting the large roof with hanging eaves.

Room was strictly reserved for the Sultan's use on official occasions. Foreign envoys and visitors, the Prime Minister, Ministers and Chief Justices were received in audience by the Sultan in the Throne Room. Located in the third courtyard of the palace it was originally built on the orders of Sultan Mehmet, the Conqueror. Later the Throne Room was repeatedly modified and restored by other sultans. Inside is the main throne room with a dome and two smaller adjacent rooms. It comprises of a reception salon with the throne and two service rooms.

The Emperor was seated on a slightly elevated throne completely covered with gold cloth, replete and strewn with numerous precious stones, and there were on all sides many cushions of inestimable value; the walls of the chamber were covered with mosaic works spangled with azure and gold; the exterior of the fireplace of this chamber of solid silver and covered with gold, and at one side of the chamber from a fountain water gushed forth from a wall.

It is an old building, dating from the 15th century, and further decorated under Sultan Süleyman I. This audience hall was also called "Inner Council Hall" in contrast to the "outer" Imperial Council Hall in the Second Courtyard. Here the sultan would sit on the canopied throne and personally receive the viziers, officials and foreign ambassodors, who presented themselves.

The viziers came here to present their individual reports to the sultan. Depending on their performance and reports, the sultan showed his pleasure by showering them with gifts and high offices, or in the worst case having them strangled by deaf-mute eunuchs. The chamber was thus a place that officials reporting to the sultan entered without knowing if they would leave it again alive.

The most elaborate ceremonies which took place here where those conducted during the reception of ambassadors who came escorted by officials to kiss the hem of the sultan's skirt. The throne was richly decorated during the ceremonies.

The present throne in the form a baldachin was made by order of Sultan Mehmed III. On the lacquered ceiling of the throne studded with jewels are foliage patterns accompanied by the depiction of the fight of a dragon, symbol of power, with simurg, a mythical bird. On the throne there is a cover made of several pieces of brocade on which emerald and ruby plaques and pearls are sown.

The ceilings of the chamber was painted in ultramarine blue and studded with golden stars. The tiles that lined the walls were also blue, white and turqoise. The chamber was further decorated with precious carpets and pillows. This was to impress the visitors and hold them in awe of the power and presence of the sultan. The chamber was renovated in 1723 by Sultan Ahmed III and rebuilt in its present form after it was destroyed by fire in 1856 during the rule of Sultan Abülmecid I.

Two doors in front lead out into a porch, another one to the back. The two doors in front were for visitors while the third one was for the sultan himself. The embossed inscriptions at the main visitors' door, having the form of the sultan's monogram and containing laudatory words for Sultan Abdülmecid I, date from 1856.

The main door is surmounted by an embossed besmele (the Muslim confession of faith "In the Name of God the Compassionate, the Merciful") dating from 1723. The inscription was added during the reign of Sultan Ahmed III. The tile panels on either side of the door were placed during later repair work. There is a small fountain at the entrance by Sultan Süleyman I. The fountain was used not only for refreshments, but could be used to prevent others from overhearing secret conversations in this room. The fountain was also a symbol of the sultan, the Persian inscriptions calls him "the fountainhead of generosity, justice and the sea of beneficence."

The Audience Chamber is a classic example of Turkish style pavilion architecture, a vaulted structure consisting of a throne room and the ablution space next to it. It has two doors in front and one in the rear side. While the Sultans were only using the back door, the front door was used by state officials and ambassadors who were accorded audience by the Sultans.

Gifts presented by ambassadors were placed in front of the large window with iron bars in the middle of the main façade between the two doors and the Pişkeş (Gift) Gate to the left (Pişkeş Kapısı, Pişkeş meaning gift brought to a superior).The reign of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent was the most glorious period of the Audience Chamber. The structure underwent several repairs from the 16th through the 19th Century.

Nevertheless the inscription in verse adorning the dome over the throne room indicates that it was initially built during the reign of Sultan Mehmet III (1595-1603). The lacquered ceiling of the jewels inlaid throne is decorated with floral motifs, between which is depicted the struggle of a dragon against a simurgh as a symbol of power. This throne chamber was saved with the least damage from the 1856 fire.

However, the fireplace hood, the tiles on the surface of the dome and on the walls, the wooden windows and door wings ornamented with tortoiseshell and mother of pearl and all the items inside had been burned. Following the 1856 fire, the Audience Chamber was restored during the reign of Sultan Abdülmecit.

The structure that was renovated in Empire style by the architects and craftsmen who built the Dolmabahçe Palace reached our present-day with its decoration in Empire and Neoclassical styles. The monogram shaped marble relief inscriptions praising Sultan Abdülmecit situated on both sides of the door, were of course added following that restoration. The walls were coated during the 19th Century, with tile panels dated to the 16th Century.

Above the gate used by the Sultans we find the monogram of Sultan Mustafa III (1757-1774) with a repair inscription. There is also an epigraph written in Sultan Mahmut II calligraphy above the afore-mentioned Pişkeş (Gift) Gate.


WEB SITE : Topkapı Palace Museum Directorate

E-Mail :
Phone : +90 212 512 0480
Fax : +90 212 526 9840

These scripts and photographs are registered under © Copyright 2017, respected writers and photographers from the internet. All Rights Reserved.


Sultanahmet, Fatih - Istanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°00'45.8"N 28°59'06.8"E / 41.012729, 28.985211

Third Courtyard



The Dormitory of the Expeditionary Force (Seferli Koğuşu) was constructed in 1635 under Sultan Murat IV (1623-1640) on the plot of the demolished portion of the Sultan’s Bath (Hünkâr Hamamı). The old Expeditionary Force Ward consisted of the fountain in front of the Sultan’s Hamam, a bath, a small mosque and the actual dormitory.  The building was torn down and rebuilt by Sultan Ahmet III in 1719, in the course of the construction of the Enderûn Library.

The vaulted dormitory part in the entrance apricot and which was remained from Byzantine Empire has supported by14 columns. Adjacent to the dormitory, located northeast is the Conqueror's Pavilion. This long extensive building with colonnade consists of two large connecting rooms.

In that period, an arcade including the columns of the demolished Pool Pavilion was added in front of the ward. The actual core of the building supported by seven columns has survived up until our present-day. The barrel vaults of the great hall on the courtyard side of the Expeditionary Force Ward, consisting of two intertwined halls, are based on arches and masonry columns. The small hall on the Marmara front has wooden ceilings. The epigraph above the entrance to the ward bears the monogram of Sultan Mahmut II (1808-1839) who restored the building.

The Shirvan, glass cases and wooden bedsteads were removed from the halls during the 1916 restoration. The inscription above the entrance gate bears the name of Sultan Mehmet Reşat V who had these repairs performed in the Hijri year - A.H. 1335 (Gregorian, 1916). The epigraph reads: “This ward which is the Dormitory of the Enderûn Expeditionary Force was repaired and integrated into the Imperial Treasury upon the sovereign order and highest instructions of the Emir of the Faithful, His Majesty the Ghazi Sultan Mehmed Reşad Khan”.


Since 1972 this collection has been housed in the old accommodation quarters of the "Ak Ağalar" (White Aghas). Here are embroidered purses, special prayer linen, trouser belts, tablecloths, bed linen, Sultan's caftans, and leather articles like boots and slippers worn by Sultans and princes. The articles wereall embroidered by the harem ladies in the palace, partly as a dowry by yhe young girls, or for their daughters by the older ladies.

The oldest embroideries have classic designs being not very colourful and having stylized flower motifs : tulips, carnations and roses. Later, pomegranate and various leaf and branch motifs were used predominately. In the 17th century one notices embroideries with pastel colours appearing, often with repetitive patterns. Symmetry of patterns was still there, the three of life often appears, and the colours also have two tones. Hyacinths and  artichokes were later added to the repertoire.

When embroidering they often used fine materials. Probably for that reason, today there is no embroidery dating before the 16th century. There are many more embroideries dating from the 18th and 19th centuries, but they are of a lower quality. With the importation of European embroidery competition increased, and this handwork began to lose its importance for ladies towards the end of the 19th century.



The collection of sultans’ clothing, which showcases perhaps the finest examples of Ottoman textile art, contains clothing of the sultans and princes from the second half of the 15th century to the early 20th century. The decorative patterns of the sultans’ clothing were drawn up by palace miniaturists, who made up a large part of the court’s artists and artisans working for the court, or ehl-i hiref. Besides serâser cloth, the sultans’ garments would be made with expensive silks such as velvet, çatma velvet with raised designs, kemha or velvet pile.

Beginning in the time of Sultan Ahmed III, these heavy and expensive fabrics—with their large amount of gold and silver thread—were replaced with lighter and simpler fabrics such as satin, taffeta, gezi (thickly woven silk cloth), canfes (thin taffeta), sandal (a mixture of cotton and silk), geremsut silk, and selimiye (silk cloth made in workshops near Istanbul’s Selimiye barracks).

For the Ottoman sultans, headgear not only completed an outfit, but also served as an important status symbol. During ceremonies and on reception days, sultans would wear headgear called horasanî, mücevveze, selimî, or kâtibî. Another important piece of Ottoman headgear was the fez. In 1827, Sultan Mahmud II issued an imperial decree abolishing the Janissary corps and establishing a new army called the `Asâkir-i Mansûre-i Muhammediye (Victorious Soldiers of Muhammad), whose mandatory uniform consisted not only of coat and trousers, but also of the fez.

Subsequently, a new clothing regulation was introduced, obliging all state employees and religious scholars to wear the fez. This clothing reform of Sultan Mahmud II served as a means of promotion for the radical changes he brought to the structure of the Ottoman state. The introduction of the fez resulted in other kinds of headgear losing their function as status symbols.

The Topkapı Museum possesses the world's finest collection of Turkish textiles and kaftans. This is due largely to the fact that the kaftans of each Ottoman sultan from the time of Sultan Mehmet II onwards ( 1451-1481) were traditionally preserved in the Palace Treasury. From the end of the 19th century onwards, the sultan kaftans were shown to diplomatic guests in the treasury, a practice that was later carried over from the late Ottoman period into the Republic.

The Dormitory of the Expeditionary Force (Seferli Koğuşu) houses the Imperial Wardrobe Collection (Padişah Elbiseleri Koleksiyonu) with a valuable costume collection of about 2,500 garments, the majority precious kaftans of the Sultans. It also houses a collection of 360 ceramic objects. There displays some sultan’s clothes and kaftans made by precious fabrics from Sultan Fatih to Sultan Abdülhamid II.

In the first room the kaftans (magnificent garments) of all Sultans who lived in Istanbul are displayed. They are made of precious materials, silks, satins, brocades and velvets. Noteworthy displays in the rear room are the garments of princes, valuable Turkish material samples mainly with flower patterns, precious furs used for the Sultans' winter caftans and silk prayer rugs.

The Textile Collection includes children's kaftans, ceremonial and everyday kaftans and other items of royal costume such as shirts and pantaloons, caps, pouches and turbans, as well as household fabrics in the form of quilts, sheets and prayer rugs, decorative cushion covers, wall coverings and floor rugs. Kaftans for daily wear were practical to carry and simple in motif and decoration, while the ceremonial kaftans were valuable and eye-catching. The winter kaftans were made of thick cloth, and often featured furs such as ermine, sable, marten and fox.

The kaftan, arobe-like garment with long wide sleeves and open down the front, was worn over other clothes. Cloth for the kaftans was of Turkish origin, wowen in Bursa and sent to Istanbul for sewing. Upon the death of a sultan his clothes were labelled and carefully stored in the treasury. This, along with the fact that they were taken out and aired each spring to protect them from damp, has resulted in these magnificent garments being amazingly well preserved today.

The development of cloth patterbs is very interesting : The small crude patterns of the 15th century were developed in the 16th century, and designs reached their peak in the 17th century. In those centuries the motifs most frequently used were tulips, carnations, hyacinths, paradise appless, encircled branches, pomegranates, deer and stags.

Most of the kaftans are made of cloth of local origin, although the collection does include those of Iranian, Italian and Spanish origin. We have records of cloth being ordered from overseas by the Ottoman Palace. We also know that "Turkish cloth", kemha (brocade) in particular, was employed for papal vestments. Such cloth was ordered from Ottoman Turkey and made up in Europe where it was embroidered with cruciform and other appropriate motifs.

A number of vestments of this kind ate to be seen in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, the Benaki Museum in Athens and in several European monasteries, and are evidence of the extent of trade in Ottoman textiles after the 15th century.

We know to whom each Kaftan belonged as these fine garments, which constitute the most significant part o costume collection, have been individually labeled after the death of each sultan stored under these names. We can therefore, date most of them from period of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror (15th century) through to that of Sultan Mehmet V (Resat) (20th century) .Western dress adopted by the sultans during the time of Sultan Mahmut II (1808-1839), after which sultans possessed both traditional kaftans and Europeanized dress.

Other than certain small detail form of the kaftan changed very little over the centuries, as we can see from the the imperial collection. The sultans full-skirted kaftans with stiff yolks over-garments, which were front-but and long-sleeved, the sleeves broad lined with plain silk. Ceremonial kaftans were more decorative and imposing appearance, the hem longer, often trailing the floor, and elongated sleeves trailing behind the hem of the kaftans. These were sometimes attached separately during a ceremony. Winter kaftans are easily distinguishable from summer wear, lined with sable, ermine squirrel, fox and martin, or quilted with cotton.

Documentary material in the archives relating to Ottoman text encyclopaedic, although only a few fabrics have been matched to the vast number of names in the archives. The imperial costumes, especially kaftans, tend to be of heavy brocade-for which the generic term is kemha- and plain and double-pile or catma velvet. Apart from the brocade classed as kemha, there are several other types of brocade of silk wrought with silver and gold thread; these include seraser and serenk, both gilded silk brocades; zerbaft -a heavy gold brocade; and atlas, also classed as a silk brocade.

Other fabrics include taffeta or taftai; damascened brocade or diba; silk brocade wrought with gold or hatai; felt or aba; broadcloth or çuha; camelot or sof; warp- dyed satin or kutni; and finer fabrics such as "gezi" a fine watered silk; "canfez" a silk muslin gauze; and "bürümcük" a fine-spun raw silk gauze. Canfez, gezi and atlas are self -patterned weaves, aba, cuha and sof being plain non-patterned fabrics. Some of the fabrics mentioned can be identified by their warp-stripe or small- motif pattern, or by their damascened surface.

Sultan kaftans were mostly made of heavy brocade with metal thread classed as kemha-a closely woven fabric which was extremely stiff and difficult to tailor, but was preferred for ceremonial occasions as it gave the impression of rigid immobility in the wearer, and encouraged the stiff deportment expected of sultans. Kemha was also eminently suited as a furnishing fabric and was frequently used as such. It is essentially a double-layered weave with silk warp and weft and a supplementary weft of gold or silver thread.

A number of different types of kemha are referred to in archival documents, such as 'yekrenk kemha', 'pesuri kemha', 'muehhip kemha' and "gulistanli kemha". Only the latter brocade, that of "gulistanli kemha" has been subjected to detailed technical analysis. A tightly-warped cloth with eight to nine thousand warp threads, there are two kaftans in this fabric in the collection. The kemha kaftans of Sultans Bayezit II and Selim II are also worthy of note.

Double-piled velvet or çatma was also much used for kaftans. It is a firm, closely woven fabric, the pattern delineated in velvet pile on a background of plain weave often wrought with metal thread. Telli catma-or double-pile velvet wrought with metal thread-was, according to documentary evidence, formerly woven in the Ottoman towns of Bursa and Bilecik.

During the 18th century, it was produced in Istanbul in workshops around Ayazma Mosque in Uskudar, and in the 19th century by weavers around Selimiye Mosque in Istanbul. Widely used as upholstery fabric too, cushion covers and lengths of catma were exported extensively to Europe, which is why Turkish catma can be found in a number of museums in America and Europe. There are four royal catma kaftans in the Topkapı collection, those of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror, Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent, Sultan Mehmet III and Sultan Murat III.

Plain silk velvet was relatively less used for kaftans. Basically a looped pile cloth; the pile is trimmed in Turkish velvets to give the fabric a smooth or a two-level contoured surface, as in catma. Both the warp and weft of the Palace velvets are silk, with in some cases metal strip woven into the weft.

Seraser is a tightly woven, stiff gilt brocade with a silk warp and weft of gilded silver or silver strip giving it a brilliant sheen. Extremely heavy and valuable because of the metal strip weft, this fabric was largely reserved for ceremonial kaftans. The number of workshops in which seraser was woven were from time to time restricted by imperial order to control the consumption of silver strip, which was used liberally in this type of cloth; hence the cost to the crown of silver was kept under control. The seraser kaftan of Selim II is a fine example of the fabric at its most brilliant condition.

Serenk is a two-color brocade also used in the making of kaftans. It is similars to kemha in structure and appearance but instead of the metal strip, yellow silk is used in the weft, giving the cloth its characteristic golden sheen. The use of silken thread instead of metal strip also renders the fabric softer and more supple. There are two main types of serenk, an unpatterned 'sade serenk' and a stippled fabric or 'Sahbenek.' The kaftans of Sultan Bayezit II and Selim I are two of the finest examples of this cloth in existence.

A number of kaftans were made of monochrome silk satin or atlas, a tightly woven cloth of fine silk with considerable body which was consistently preferred over the centuries for its fine sheen, close in character to that of the silken thread from which it was woven. There are many kinds of atlas, mainly dark burgundy red, cream, yellow and blue. The embroidered kaftan of Crown Prince Mehmet is of burgundy atlas.

The other kind of cloth encountered among the kaftans was selimiye-a patterned silk fabric (both warp and weft of silk) generally decorated with warp stripes, florettes or small motifs in offset repeated in various colors. This kind of cloth, which first appears in 18th century costume, can be seen in the kaftan of Sultan Mahmut I. The textiles in the collection were mainly woven exclusively for the court in Palace workshops, the colors and quality being especially suited to the imperial purse and preference. The most favored ground color was burgundy red, which is combined with a number of contrasting colors, resulting with an extraordinary tonal harmony.

Motifs and patterns are taken from the common repertoire of the Ottoman decorative arts and may equally be encountered on artifacts from other branches of the arts of the period such as rugs and embroideries, ceramic tiles, marble relief and metalwork. Boldly outlined motifs, mainly floriated and foliate in character, such as tulips, carnations, peonies, hyacinths, plane leaves, lanceolate leaves, curved stems, blossoming branches, giant pine cones and pomegranates are the mainstay of this repertoire.

The less common triple dot device often accompanied by the so-called 'chintemani' or stylized cloud motif, the seal of Solomon and Sunburst motifs also figure on imperial fabrics as do animal motifs, although rarely, namely stags and gazelles entwined with curved stems, addorsed peacocks and peacock feather sprays.

Motifs recur in endless repeat patterns of alternate ogival medallions on a single axis or offset on alternate axes, lateral pairs of curved flowers and leaves springing from parallel stems, or floral sprays springing from a single point to cover the surface of the fabric. One rather fine pattern used in kaftans, of the so- called 'saz yolu' type consist of interlacing fine stems and lanceolate leaves.

The collection also contains leather overntantles, also classed as kaftans, and embroidered kaftans of some interest, as well as some press-patterned over plain- dyed cloth and stamped with gilt and silver, and a large number of imperial shirts and drawers, quilted leggings, soft slippers or kalcin (a kind of very thick stocking) and undershirts.

Among the shirts are nearly sixty very curious talismanic shirts, some of which can be identified as the property of particular members of the imperial family, such as the shirt dated 1480, bearing the same of Prince Cem (Cem Sultan). These shirts were designed to protect the wearer from malevolent forces, to ward off genies, sickness, wild beasts or human foes. The shirts were covered with inscriptions and characters of magical or auspicious value, arranged in a grid pattern, and are calligraphically related in character to the art of the manuscript.

The costumes of the ladies of the court have long been the subject of conjecture. We have very few actual examples to hand, as there was no tradition parallel to that which has led to the preservation of the costumes of the sultans.

Most of the harem costumes in the collection were acquired, by bequest or purchase, from members of the imperial family and private collectors when the Palace was turned into a museum, but it is by no means representative. Nineteenth century dressmakers' accounts books inform us that cloth imported from Europe by special order was utilized in the making of costumes for the female members of the royal family. It is costumes of that era that we have in the Palace collection.

Ottoman textiles of the finest quality were produced from the 14th to the 17th centuries, but fine textile weaving began to disappear towards the end of the 17th century, there being an even more marked decline in the industry in the 18th century. Some new local textiles did appear in the 18th century such as Selimiye and Uskudar catma, but, as in the west, the Ottoman market was largely inundated with mass-produced European fabrics following the innovations and modifications to weaving looms introduced by the French engineer, Jaquard in 1876.

The revolution in the European textile industry led to the decline of the centuries old fabric industry in Turkey. It was not until the reign of Abdülmecit (1839-1861) that some attempt was made to revive it, with the removal of the Feshane factory from Kadırga to Eyup where steam-powered looms were introduced in 1843. A textile factory was opened the following year, in 1844, at Hereke, and brocade weaving was begun there shortly afterwards. This factory is still in operation, producing heavy "Ottoman" weaves to order.


WEB SITE : Topkapı Palace Museum Directorate

E-Mail :
Phone : +90 212 512 0480
Fax : +90 212 526 9840

These scripts and photographs are registered under © Copyright 2017, respected writers and photographers from the internet. All Rights Reserved.