Secrets of Topkapı Palace

Topkapı Palace had been the head palace of Ottoman Empire around for 500 years. It was built in 1460’s firstly. It was constructed on the hill which dominates the all straits and can see the continents Europe and Asia.

The history of this hill is dated back to Roman Empire age. Roman Emperors knew that it was a junction point of the world. So they built palaces on this hill. As we know that there used to be one of the biggest palaces of ancient era; Megalo Palacio. It was a mega palace. It was so huge that it covered up whole peninsula. Even today we can see the remain of this mega palace on the square of old town.

When the city was conquered by Ottomans, Sultan Mehmed II had a temporary palace constructed on Beyazıt district of Istanbul (there is an university on this site at present). Then he decided have a great palace built and he chose the hill that was chosen by Roman Emperors. So Topkapı Palace was being constructed on the mega palace of Byzantines.

Every sultan of Ottoman Empire added extra buildings to this palace complex so it got wider in the time.

That’s why we come across traces of Roman and Byzantine era while excavating Topkapı Palace complex. It had been reconstructed for many times, even the original baths that were dated back to 1460’s were unearthed.

The archeaologists are still unearthing the Roman and Byzantine traces during the excavations and reconstructions.

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Old Town of Istanbul; Constantinople

Constantinople or Byzantiun were the sites that were surrounded by a city wall. This peninsula was the center of Roman empire and the world. There has been residence for thousands of years. The main capitol of Roman Empire and early times of Istanbul were the center. So the holy buildings and great masterpieces were built on that area. You can come across the most important buildings of the history in this area such as St.Sophia, the cisterns and the headquarter of Ottoman Empire; Topkapı Palace ( On the Megalo Palacio (Mega Palace)).

East Roman Emperors and Ottoman sultans constructed a mega city in different formats. So a combination of Christian and Islamic cultures formed here. In a wide time period, the city extended to outside of the city wall and modern Istanbul is being constructed..

At present, we can still come across traces of this multi-cultural stage.

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Marine transportation in Istanbul city

Istanbul city is located in two continents; Europe and Asia. Its location creates different opprtunities such as marine transportation. You can sail between two continents by a ferry. It is one of the great joys you can find in Istanbul.

We know that marine transportation in Istanbul is dated back to ancient times. Ferries of Istanbul are famous and joyful. I advise you to have a tea (or coffee) with a simit which is a circular bread with susame.

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Dardanelles; Another strait that tie up two continents

There is an another strait that tie up two continents beside Istanbul strait. It is located in the border of Çanakkale province. It is in the western region of Turkey. It has been hosting many historical events in history for thousands of years.

Last historical event was Gallipoli wars during WW1. Heroic Turkish defence stopped the united allien navy and ANZAC soldiers. This region is a military museum and there are sunken ships under the strait. As we know that Alexander the Great crossed over the Dardanelles for his eastern campaign. Ottomans became an important state by crossing Dardanelles. Even today, it is one of the strategic straits of the world.

A visitor can feel the history while visiting Dardanelles.

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Turkish Republic; the land of tolerance and sharing life with different religions

Turkish landscape offers the visitors great opportunities for religion tourism of the world. Due to the multi-cultural structure of this landscape, many beliefs have a life here including Zoroastrianism (the Persian religion) and Paganism. Starting from the beginning of the human being era, we can find traces of various cultures and settlement in our cultural layers. Briefly Turkish landscape has been hosting human being culture for millions of years.

I would like to summarise you some important religious structures of yhis landscape;

  1. Zoroastrianist temples in Turkey;

Zoroastrianism is one of the world beliefs that have traces in Turkey. Due to the close location to the main land of Zoroastrianism (Iran), we can come across traces of Zoroastrianist temples in Turkish landscape. As we know that Persian Empire attacked Anatolian peninsula and captured some sites in ancient era. Also they brought their religion here. By the archeaological excavations, the archeaologists discovered some Zoroastrianist temples in some locations. So Zoroastrianism took its place in our landscape’s history.

2. Paganism on Anatolia;

Paganism was one of the common religion in ancient era. By effect of Great Roman Empire, paganism spread whole territory. We can see the temples of Greek Gods and Goddess’ here even today. Apollo, Zeus and Artemis were some gods and goddesses.

Aphrodite

We can come across big necropole sites nearby the ancient sites. Only the royal people and emperors could be buried to the center of the site. The public funerals were brought to the necropole.

By the launching of Christianity, Paganism was under the danger. So Roman Empire authorities tortured and tried to kill the earlier Christians. Thus some settlements were built such as Cappadocia and central Anatolian underground sites in order to hide and live.

3. Christianity in Small Asia;

St.Pierre Church /Antakya

As I mentioned above, Christianity was under the pressure of Pagan authorities. Earlier Christians had to hide and live under the ground. But this bad altitiude or this pressure couldn’t succeed to destroy Christianity and Christianity became the official religion of Roman Empire.

Earlier Chiristians used to pray in small areas called chapels. First biggest church was carved into a cave in South of Anatolian peninsula. It was called St.Pierre Church. Apostles visited Small Asia and tried to promulgate Christianity here. St.Paul was one of the apostles that were known here.

St.Nicholas’ Church /Demre – Antalya

It is believed that Santa Claus used to live in Demre region of Antalya. Actually this priest was the one who inspired Santa Claus story. His good manners were adapted to Santa Claus.

Also we should mention some places such as Ephesus, Nicosea and Constantinople. Christianity was shaped in those councils and today’s universal Christianity was born. The biggest Orthodox church of the world is located in Istanbul; Saint Sophia.

4. Jewish Communites in Turkey;

The biggest Sinagogue of Turkey /Edirne

Jewish community has been one of the biggest communities of Anatolia for hunderds of years. Like other beliefs, Jewish has an important place in our cultural structure. Millions of Jewish people lived on this peninsula and they are still living. But the population decreased. We can find many sinagogues in Turkey.

5. Islam in Turkey;

Süleymaniye Mosque /Istanbul

Islam is the last main religion of the world. It was launced in Arabian peninsula but it became universal with Turks. Turkish tribes and states promulgated Islam everywhere. Turkish- Islamic synthesis spread whole world.

Anatolia’s first mosque was built in ancient Ari site (located in Kars province). It was commissioned in 1046.

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Gallipoli War; the last legendary war at the region…

Gallipoli was the place where millions of soldiers fought 106 years ago. The struggle started with a marine war. The fleet of allied forces came to Dardenelles to sail through Black sea. Turkish forces defended Turkish land because the first target was Istanbul. Turkish artillerymen hit the important ships of the fleet and they sank.

Then allied forces decided to deploy ground forces to stop Turkish artillery troops. Turkish forces had a heroic defence against allied forces. Finally allied forces were defeated by heroic defence of Turkish forces.

There was a commander named Mustafa Kemal. He did a great task and he predicted the extraction zone of ANZAC troops. So Turkish forces stopped progress of ANZAC troops. Thus all world found out this statement ” No way out”.

This is the 106th anniversivary of Gallipoli war. After this war, Australia and New Zealand became nations.

This legendary war took its place among the important events of the region such as Trojan war.

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Turkey’s First National Flag Museum

Every national fiag is a respectful symbol for nations in the world. No doubt Turkish flag is one of the beautiful flags of the world. That’s why the national flag museum was opened in order to honour Turkish flag by University of September Nineth. September Nineth is the date when Izmir was rescued from Greek invasion.

Izmir was the symbol of our independence war.

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Galata Bridge- A bridge that connects Golden Horn

New Galata Bridge

Istanbul is one of the historical cities of the world. The historical structure of Istanbul reflects on the historical buildings. Golden Horn is one of the stunning destinations of Istanbul city.

Tiding two sides of Golden Horn has been an important task for centuries. Since Istanbul was conquered, the authorities has been dealing with this task. Galata Bridge is the one which ties up two sides of Golden Horn. Although it has planned for centuries, it could be real in 19th century. A bridge was constucted in 1854. It was made of wood. It was reconstructed in 20th century.

Old Galata Bridge

It was used till 1992 since it was damaged because of a fire. A new one was commissioned in 1994. It was built as a bridge with opening winds in order to let the ships sail through or out Golden Horn. But due to some technical problems, this bridge couldn’t be used for this purpose so much. Despite the technical problems, it fulfills its task with success; to tie up two sides of Golden Horn.

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Demirköy Ironfoundry; where the giant cannons were produced

Conquest of Constantinople was a tough target. Constantinople was the city which was famous for powerful city walls. They were built so well that it couldn’t be collapsed despite the several attacks before 1453. Young sultan of Ottoman State Mehmed II determined to conquer Constantinople in order to unite tge territories of Ottoman State in Europe and Asia continents.

Although the high ranks of Ottoman State objected young sultan, he didn’t listen to them. He started to make preprations for the attack to Constantinople. Young Sultan knew that he had to produce more powetrful weapons including giant cannonballs. He had a master brought to Edirne (the capital before Constantinople) and he had an ironfoundry built nearby Edirne. The giant cannonballs were produced here and they became key weapons to conquer the city.

The ruins of this ironfoundry were unearthed. It is in Thrace region of Turkey. It is one of the samples of war industry facilities in the world. According to the news, this factory will be restored and opened for visit.

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400 year old historical accommodation facility will be restored as a hotel

Historical accommodation facilities that are named as han were the hotels of the past. There are a lot of hans on the Anatolian Peninsula. All of them have the characteristic features of the medieval age.

The Anatolian hans always have a historical value such as Develi Han in Tokat province of Turkey. Develi Han which was constructed in 16th century is one of them.

After it was used by university, it is decided to reuse it as a hotel. Briefly it will turn back its historical background.

Tokat Province

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