THE DOLMABAHCE PALACE

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The construction of the Dolmabahçe Palace began in 1843 and ended in 1856. It is a palace located on an area of 250.000 m² between Dolmabahçe Street and Istanbul Strait extending from Kabatas to Besiktas in Besiktas, Istanbul. It is located on the left bank of the Sea of Marmara at the entrance of the Bosphorus, opposite Uskudar and Salacak.

The area where the Dolmabahçe Palace is today is a big bay of the Bosphorus, where the Ottoman Navy anchored the ships until four centuries ago. This bay, where traditional maritime ceremonies were held, eventually became a swamp. The cove, which started to be filled in the 17th century, was converted into a royal garden (hadayik-hassâ) arranged for the rest and fun of the sultans. In this garden, the communities of pavilions which were built in various periods, were commemorated for a long time as Be?ikta? Coastline.

Towards the second half of the 18th century, Western influences began to be seen in Turkish architecture and it began to show itself in baroque style pavilions and fountains which were shaped by decoration called “Turkish Rococo” and also under Western influence. Sultan III Selim was the sultan who built the first Western-style buildings in the Bosphorus. The Sultan had the architect Melling made the Besiktas Palace and expanded other buildings he needed. Sultan II Mahmut built two large Western palaces in Beylerbeyi and Cirali gardens near the Topkapi Coastline. In those times, the New Palace (Topkapi Palace) was considered abandoned, even if it was not actually. The palace in Beylerbeyi, the marble columns in Ortaköy Çira?an, the old Be?ikta? Palace and the pavilions in Dolmabahçe were the residence of Mahmut II according depending on season. Abdulmecit, like his father, did not give much credit to the New Palace, where he stayed only a few months in winter. Almost all of the more than forty royal children were born in the Bosphorus palaces.

Abdülmecit decided to build a palace in European style and style with the aim of residence, summer, guest reception and hospitality, and running state affairs, instead of classic palaces which were preferred until now, after living in old Be?ikta? Palace for a while. Although he was not really well educated like other princes, Abdulmecid was a sultan who loved the Western ideas. The sultan, who loved western music and western style, knew enough to understand French. When the palace was built; he is rumored to have said: “Evil and ugliness are forbidden here, here only beautiful things are said and only beautiful things are found”.

This was the place where Atuturk used to reside during his visits to Istanbul. On Novermber 10th 1938, sadly, Atatürk passed away in the 71st chamber of the palace. The Turkish nation presented their respect to their leader as the body of Ataturk was placed in the Muayede Hall. The palace was used by Ismet ?nönü during his presidency after Ataturk and during his visits to Istanbul. After the single-party period, the palace was opened to serve foreign guests. The German President Gronchi, Iraqi Faysal, Indonesian Prime Minister Sukarno and Prime Minister of France General de Gaulle were given ceremonies and banquets here.

In 1952, the Dolmabahçe Palace was opened to the public one day a week in the National Assembly Administration. On July 10th, 1964, the official opening ceremony was held at the meeting of the National Assembly Presidency and it was closed on 14 January 1971 with the notice of the National Assembly Administrative Authority. The Dolmabahçe Palace, which was opened on 25th June 1979 by order of the President of the Parliament, was closed on 12 October of the same year on another notice. About two months later, it began to serve the tourist again by phone order of the President of the Parliament.

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