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History of the First Capital of Ottoman Empire (3rd Capital istanbul) – Osmanlı Devleti İlk Başkent
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History of the First Capital of Ottoman Empire (3rd Capital istanbul) – Osmanlı Devleti İlk Başkent

ABONE OL
15 Ağustos 2015 19:06
History of the First Capital of Ottoman Empire (3rd Capital istanbul) – Osmanlı Devleti İlk Başkent
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BEĞENDİM

ABONE OL

History ofThe First Capital of Ottoman Empire (3rd Capital Istanbul )

The first settlement

About 300,000 years ago the first inhabitants of what is now Istanbul made their home in Yarımburgaz Cave on the shores of Küçükçekmece lake. At the end of the last ice age, when the lake formed, human beings continued to inhabit the cave through the Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods. Meanwhile on the Asian coast of Istanbul, excavations near Dudullu have uncovered tools dating from the Lower Palaeolithic age (around 100,000 years ago). and near Ağaçlı north of the city, Middle Palaeolithic and Upper Palaeolithic period tools have been found. There was an important culture at Fikirtepe on the Kurbağılıdere river in Kadıköy around 5000 BC.

Byzantium (660 BC – 324 AD)

Pioneers from the city of Megara on the Greek mainland, where in ü80 BC Dorian incursions had been causing havoc, and other settlers fromMiletus on the Anatolian coast of the southern Aegean, established the city of Chalcedon, what is today Kadıköy on Istanbul’s eastern shore. Another group of Megarans consulted the Oracle of Delphi about the situation of their new city, and the oracle told them to found their city opposite the Land of the Blind. The blind turned out to be the Chalcedonians, who had failed to see the superiority of the site on the opposite side of the Strait of Istanbul. So began the history of Byzantium, which was founded in 660 BC on Sarayburnu (‘Palace Headland’ as the Turks named it in reference to Topkapı Palace). The Chalcedonians and Byzantines got on amicably, placing both their names on coins that they minted jointly.

Walls were constructed around Byzantium, which stood on a peninsula. There was sea on three sides and abundant fish. The Golden Horn inlet was a sheltered harbour right by the city. There was fertile land for agriculture, and it was conveniently placed on the maritime trade routes. All these factors combined to make Byzantium grow quickly in size and prosperity.

But Byzantium’s unsurpassed advantages and wealth also made it a tempting target for invaders. In 269 BC it was captured by the Bithyniansand looted. In 202 BC the Macedonian threat obliged Byzantium to seek aid from Rome, and this was the first step towards Rome’s own possession of the city.

In 73 AD Byzantium became part of the Roman province of Bithynia-Pontus. The Emperor Vespasian contributed to the city’s development. In 193, after Byzantium took sides with the Parthians, the Roman emperor Septimus Sevenrus besieged the city, looted it, and pulled down the walls. Subsequently he had the walls rebuilt, and constructed new buildings and streets. He began construction of the Hippodrome. In 269 the city was attacked by the Goths, who to mark their victory erected a column close to the sea. In 313 the Nicomedians took the city, but did not hold it for long before Emperor Constantine recaptured it.

Capital of the Roman Empire (324 – 395)

The lands of the Roman Empire stretched from the Atlantic in the west to the Euphrates and the Tigris to the east, and early in the fourth century the idea of establishing a second capital to control the eastern provinces had germinated. Byzantium, strategically positioned at the crossroads of the land and sea trade routes between east and west, was the obvious choice. This new status underscored the city’s significant cultural andpolitical position in the Old World.

Constantine I the Great (324-337) invited high-born Romans to settle in Byzantium, so swelling the Roman population. At the same time he launched a building programme to befit the city for its new role as eastern capital. The harbours and water supply channels were improved,and construction commenced of a new water distribution system within the city. A new wall was built to improve the city’s defences.

The Hippodrome begun by Septimus Sevenıs was completed. This great building, 117 m wide and 480 m long, could seat 100,000 people. Down the centre was the spina, around which the chariots raced. As well as chariot racing, the Hippodrome was used for wild animal fights, athletic competitions, festivals, celebrations and entertainments. It was mainly here that the ordinary people got the chance to see and be with the emperor. The most exciting events of all were the chariot races between four teams, the Blues representing the air, the Whites water, the Greens earth, and the Reds fire. On the walls of the Hippodrome stood numerous statues, most famous of which were the four bronze horses later carried back to Venice by the Latin invaders and installed in St. Mark’s Square.

The imperial palace was next to the Hippodrome on the site where Sultanahmet Mosque now stands, and the area where Topkapı Palace was later built was the ancient acropolis with its monumental temples.

Known earlier as Nea Roma, Constantine I named it Constantinople after himself on 11 May 330.

The same year he built the Forum Constantine (now Çemberlitaş Square), and had a bronze statue of himself placed on top of the tall column brought here from the Temple of Apollo in Rome. The 35 m high column was badly damaged at an early date, and iron hoops placed around it in the early 5th century. As a result the Turks referred to it as the Hooped Stone or Çemberlitaş.

Constantine I erected the Milion Stone which was the symbolic hub of all roads fanning out through the Eastern Roman Empire, into Russia, Persia, Egypt and Europe. Just as all roads had earlier led to Rome, they now led to Constantinople, and merchants from myriad countries found their way here from the remotest corners of the world.

When Christianity developed into a religion based on the figure of Christ and his divine mission, the concept of the church arose. Haghia Eirene, the church of the Divine Peace, was one of the oldest Eastern Roman churches, and took its present form when it was enlarged during the reign of Constantine I. Before Haghia Sophia was constructed this was the patriarchal cathedral. After the Turkish conquest it was used as an armoury by the janissaries, and housed Turkey’s first military museum established in the nineteenth century. It stands in the first courtyard of Topkapı Palace.

Haghia Sophia, the largest and most magnificent of the eastern churches, was first built in 360 by Constantine I. Although the patriarch of Constantinople was the nominal head of the Orthodox Church, all authority lay with the emperor.

The city’s infrastructure quickly became inadequate for the city as its population grew, and in 375 the Emperor Valens (364-378) constructed the 1000 m long Valens Aqueduct as part of a new water supply system over the valley west of the Hippodrome. Water from the Belgrade Forest beyond the city was carried over the aqueduct to the centre of the city around the Great Palace.

Several sets of walls were built around the city, beginning with the time of its founder Byzas, and they enclosed areas of differing size. Beyond the outer wall was a moat 10 m deep and 20 m wide, and inside this a second wall with 96 towers. As well as gates used by the general public, there were others reserved for military purposes. The walls overlooking the mouth of the Golden Horn where the city was least vulnerable to attack were the weakest. The next section to the south were the walls along the Marmara Sea which were 8260 m long and pierced by the Ahırkapı, Çatladıkkapı, Samatya and Narlıkapı gates. The land walls were 5632 m long and contained the Belgrad, Silivrikapı, Mevlevihane, Topkapı, Edirnekapı, Eğrikapı and Yedikule gates. Yedikule Gate was also known as Porta Aurea or the Golden Gate, and was the most magnificent, consisting of three archways. It was built by Emperor Theodosius (379-395). Over the gateway was a double headed Byzantine eagle carved in relief. It was through this gate that the emperors passed when returning from victorious campaigns. Istanbul’s city walls were almost invincible, and only breached twice in their entire history, once in 1204 by the Fourth Crusaders and once in 1453 by the Turks.

In 390 the Emperor Theodosius I had an obelisk brought from Egypt to Istanbul which he intended to erect as a mark of Roman supremacy. The obelisk dated from 1500 BCduring the reign of Pharaoh Tuthmosis II, and was one of two which stood at the entrance of the Luxor Temple in the city of Teb. The hieroglyphic inscriptions on the obelisk tell of sacrifices made to the god Amon-Ra. The obelisk was placed on the spina in the Hippodrome, on a rectangular marble plinth bearing relief carvings depicting Theodosius watching chariot races in the Hippodrome, andscenes showing how the obelisk was set in place.
Another monument on the spina of the Hippodrome was a bronze statue of three entwined serpents brought from the Temple of Apollo in Delphi. It had been made from the shields of Persian soldiers killed in the Battle of Palatea. Originally there was a gold cauldron resting on the heads of the three serpents, but this was apparently melted down for minting coins during the Latin occupation of the city, along with the bronze plates which covered the third of the ancient monuments on the spina, a stone pillar 32 m in height.

Capital of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire (395 – 1453)
Upon the death of Theodosius in 395 AD the empire was partitioned into East and West, and Constantinople became capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, subsequently known as the Byzantine Empire. The first Byzantine emperor was Arcadius (395-408). The short reign of Arcadius was followed by the long one of Theodosius II (408-450), who in 439 constructed new additions to the three sets of walls, closing up all weak points in the land and sea walls.
The first synagogue built in Istanbul was located in the district of Bakırcılar, and was converted into a church by Theodosius II in 450. In the sixteenth century there were over thirty synagogues in Istanbul.

The great cistern built in the sixth century by Justinian I (527-565) to supply the palace with water became known as the Basilica Cistern because the commercial basilica stood on top of it. Two of the 336 columns in the cistern stand upon carved heads of Medusa taken fromearlier buildings.

Haghia Sophia had been burned down twice during insurrections and was rebuilt by Justinian in 537. Various stories about the church were current among the people of Istanbul. One of these related that during mass one day the Emperor Justinian dropped the holy bread in his hand. Before he could bend down to pick it up, a bee seized the bread and and flew off with it. The emperor sent messengers to bee keepers throughout the empire telling them to look out for this bread in their hives, and offering a reward for whoever found it. A few days later a bee keeper came to the capital with an unusually shaped honey comb thought to have resulted from the effects of the holy bread. Justinian decided to construct a şplendid church on the same plan as the honey comb. Anthemius of Tralles and Isidor of Miletus were appointed architects of the church, which rose up in its full splendour. The church was renovated and restored on numerous occasions over the next fourteen centuries, the last major changes being carried out by the Swiss Fossati brothers at the request of Sultan Abdülmecid in 1847-1849.

Another Byzantine Church, the Chora, contains what are thought by many to be the most spectacular examples of Byzantine frescos andmosaics depicting biblical scenes. This church took its present form in the fourteenth century; and was converted into a mosque by Sultan Bayezid II (1481-1512).

Byzantine Constantinople never recovered from the destruction and plunder of the Fourth Crusaders, who occupied the city and established a Latin Empire there. The Byzantine Empire regained control of Constantinople in 1261, but even an ambitious building programme could not restore the city to its former splendour and prosperity. The population, which had once been 500,000, steadily declined to 50,000. Production levels diminished and famine broke out. A thousand year-old chapter of history was drawing to an end, and the city was on the brink of a new era as the Ottoman Turks gradually advanced through Asia Minor and the Balkan peninsula.

THE OTTOMANS

The Ottomans first laid siege to Istanbul in 1391. The siege dragged on for years, and in 1396 Bayezid I (1389-1403) constructed a fortress on the Asian shore of the Strait of Istanbul to prevent aid getting through to the besieged city from the Black Sea.

Sixty years later Mehmed II (1451-1481) besieged Istanbul again. He built a second fortress, Rumeli Hisarı, on the other side of the Strait of Istanbul facing that built by his grandfather Bayezid I, so exerting an even tighter stranglehold on the city. The fortress, which was completed in the brief time of four months, had an irregular plan following the contours of the hilly site. The three great towers were named after three of Mehmed II’s vezirs, Halil Paşa, Zağanos Paşa and Sarıca Paşa.

Mehmed II had artisans brought from Europe to cast great cannon powerful enough to demolish the Byzantine walls. When everything was ready at the beginning of March 1453, the Ottoman armies gathered outside the city walls. The siege had begun. On 4 April Turkish cannon began to bombard the walls along the Marmara Sea. The Golden Horn was, as the Byzantines thought, impenetrable thanks to the great chain stretched across the mouth of the waterway to prevent vessels entering. They had not reckoned with Mehmed II’s decision to drag fifty of his galleys on wooden runners over the hilly ridge of land between Dolmabahçe on the Strait of Istanbul and Kasımpaşa on the Golden Horn. This nasty surprise undermined what remained of Byzantine morale.

Capital of the Ottoman Empire (1453 – 1923)

Istanbul will without fail be conquered What an excellent commander is he who will take it,and what excellent soldiers will his soldiers be.Hadith(I’raditions of the Prophet)

In the attack launched on the morning of 29 May the land walls were breached at Topkapı (not the palace of that name but a city gate several kilometres to the west). The same day Mehmed II entered the city on horseback and performed his prayers in the church of Haghia Sophia. In accordance with Ottoman tradition the city’s cathedral was converted into a mosque. The church of the Holy Apostles and numerous others remained as churches for the time being. Thereafter Mehmed II was known as Fatih, or the Conqueror.

The Byzantine Great Palace which had stood between Haghia Sophia and the Hippodrome had been looted and razed during the Latin occupation. With the restoration of the Byzantine rulers in 1261, they used the Palace of Blakhernai situated inside the land walls where they descended to join the sea walls along the Golden Horn. Immediately after the conquest Mehmed II had a fortress and palace built in the area which was to become known as Beyazıt west of Haghia Sophia. A large bazaar was constructed beneath the walls of the fortress.

The once splendid city was falling into ruin when it was taken by the Turks, who set about repairing the old buildings and city walls. Others beyond repair provided foundations on which new Ottoman buildings were constructed. The huge underground water cisterns were also repaired.
Those who had fled the city began to return, while new settlers of diverse ethnic origin and faith arrived from all over the Ottoman Empire, creating a colourful cultural mosaic.

Acquiring an Ottoman architectural identity

Gradually the city developed its distinctly Ottoman identity. Mosques founded by the sultans and members of their families were distinguished by having more than one minaret, and were known as selatin, the plural form of sultan. Istanbul’s first selatin mosque was that built by Mehmed II, with its symmetrically arranged complex of colleges (medrese), hospice (tabhane),hospital (darüşşifa),shops, and baths (hamam).Its architect was Atik Sinan (‘Old’ Sinan to distinguish him from the later and more celebrated Sinan). Over the next few centuries sultans, other members of the dynasty, and statesmen founded mosques in their names, and around them various institutions. Small mosques with modest complexes built by statesmen were known as vezir camior vezir mosques.

When the Umayyads had besieged Istanbul in the year 668 Eyyub el-Ensari, standard bearer to the Prophet Muhammed, had died in the fighting. In 1459 Mehmed II had Eyüp Sultan Mosque built in his memory, together with a complex consisting of medrese, imaret(public kitchen)and hamam. It was in this mosque that the Ottoman sultans girded their sword of office upon acceding to the throne.

Construction of Topkapı Palace began in 1472 and was completed in, 1478, although successive sultans added new buildings to the complex over the centuries. The outer entrance which led into the first court, the Alay Meydanı (Parade Square), was the Imperial Gate or Bab-ı Hümayun. At the farther end of the first court was the main entrance gate called Babüsselam (Gate of Greeting), which led into the second court, the Divan Meydanı. Here were the palace hospital, bakery and arsenal buildings, the royal mews along the left side and the kitchen buildings along the right.

The gate leading from the second to the third court was the Babüssaade (Gate of Felicity), and in the third court was the Arz Odası or Throne Room where foreign ambassadors and statesmen were granted audience. The buildings behind here date from the eighteenth century andwere occupied by the pages and men of the Enderun who served in the private household of the sultan. The Has Oda or Hall of the Privy Chamber, occupied by the officials who served the sultan in person, stands on the west side of the court next to the Pavilion of the Holy Mantle containing relics of the Prophet Muhammed and the first caliphs. In the fourth court are several lovely köşks(pavilions) built by different sultans. These are the Bağdat, Revan, Sofa and Mecidiye köşks.

Topkapı Palace was both home to the Ottoman sultans and centre of government for four hundred years, and over this time the palace was in a constant state of fluctuation, with additions and alterations carried out by various sultans.

Sultan Bayezid II (1481-1512), the son of Mehmed II, built a mosque complex in his name between 1500 and 1505. Located in a centralposition west of the Hippodrome, it was almost certainly the work of two architects, Kemaleddin and Hayreddin. The complex is an importantlink in the history of Turkish architecture, in terms of its relationship to its site, its architectural composition, decoration, and the institutions housed in the secondary buildings. As well as the mosque itself, there was a türbeor mausoleum for Sultan Bayezid, an imaret, children’s school, hospices, medrese, hamam, and kervansaray. The mosque had a square prayer hall covered by a large dome supported on either side by two semidomes. The arches of the colonnades around the court were of white and red marble. Exquisite stone carving decorated the mihrapniche, minber(pulpit), müezzin’s gallery, and the women’s gallery, while the woodwork decoration of the doors and windows was the finest of its period.

On his return from the Egyptian Campaign in 1517, Selim I (1512-1520) brought back the Islamic holy relics and took the title of caliph. from that point on

Istanbul became the centre of Islam.

During the reign of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent (1520-1566), Mimar Sinan built the Şehzade Mosque in memory of Süleyman’s son Mehmed, overlooking both the Golden Horn and the Marmara Sea. This was the fırst royal mosque built by Sinan, and the one which he was to refer to later in life as ‘the work of my apprenticeship’. The complex consisted of mosque, medrese, hospice, stables, school, imaret and the tomb of Şehzade Mehmed.

Selim’s royal mosque complex, which was completed posthumously in 1522, consisted of his türbe, and an imaret, medrese and hospital.

from this point on the new Ottoman capital began to find its own identity through buildings constructed by Mimar Sinan. In 1548 he built Mihrimah Sultan Mosque for Mihrimah Sultan, the daughter of Süleyman the Magnificent, in Üsküdar. It was surrounded by a complex consisting of medrese, guest house, stables, food store, warehouse and han. The two great pillars inside this mosque were in the shape of four-leafed clover.

Süleymaniye Mosque, which Sinan referred to as his `journeyman’s piece’, was constructed in 1557. The genius of Sinan’s architecture seemed to symbolise the power of Süleyman. The composition of the great domed inner space illustrates the culmination of Ottoman mosque design. In order to draw off the smoke from the burning lamps and candles, and keep the air fresh when the mosque was full of people, he created a ventilation system whereby the air circulated through a chamber over the main entrance. Moreover the particles of carbon in the smoke were deposited in this chamber and scraped off for making the lamp black ink used by calligraphers.

The Atik Valide Mosque was constructed between 1570 and 1579 for Nurbanu Valide Sultan, the mother of Murat III (1574-1595). Again the mosque and its complex were designed by Sinan, and consisted of mosque, medrese, tekke (dervish lodge), children’s school, darülhadis(school for teaching the hadith), darülkurra (school for teaching the Koran), imaret, hospital and hamam. The courtyard encircling the mosque to the north, east and west, contained a şadırvan(fountain for ablutions) and gave access to the mosque through four doors. The finest of the tiling decoration are two exquisite panels on either side of the mihrap niche. The wooden doors and window shutters are inlaid with mother-of pearl and ivory.

Şemsi Paşa Mosque on the water’s edge in Üsküdar was built by Sinan for Şemsi Ahmed Paşa in 1580. This is the smallest of the mosque complexes built by Mimar Sinan. It is in classical Ottoman style, and consists of the founder’s türbe and a medrese as well as the tiny mosque.

Sultanahmet Mosque was built at the southern end of the ancient Hippodrome between 1609 and 1616 for Sultan Ahmed I (1603-1617). Its architect was Sedefkar Mehmed Ağa. On the eastern side of the mosque was an arasta, or market of shops to provide income for the upkeep of the mosque, and to the north a hünkâr kasır, or suite of private rooms for the sultan’s use prior to and following prayers. The mosque was celebrated not so much for its architecture as for its exquisite İznik tiles of the last great period.

The Galata Tower built in 1349 was part of the defences of the old Genoese city facing Istanbul proper across the mouth of the Golden Horn. Its original name was the Christ Tower. During Ottoman times it was used first as a prison and later as a fire tower. In the seventeenth century, during the reign of Murad N (1623-1640), a scientist by the name of Hezarfen Ahmed Çelebi Iaunched himself off the top of the tower wearing wings which he had made for himself, and successfully completed the flight across the Strait of Istanbul to Üsküdar.

In 1660, during the reign of Mehmed IV. (1649-1687), the Mısır Çarşısı (Egyptian Bazaar) was built, and between 1661 and 1663 the half-finished Yeni (New) Mosque was completed by Hatice Sultan. This mosque had been begun in 1597 by Safiye Sultan, the mother of Mehmed III. After the death of Davud Ağa, the original architect, Mimar Dalgıç Ahmed Ağa continued with the construction until 1603. With the accession of Ahmed I the project was left unfinished, and meanwhile Ahmed I began construction of his own mosque in Sultanahmet.

The magnificent baroque fountain of Sultan Ahmet III (1703-1730) which has a fountain in each of its four walls and a sebil where cups of water were distributed to passersby at each corner, was built outside the main gate of Topkapı Palace.

The ancient Hippodrome, known in Turkish as Atmeydanı, was used for playing the equestrian game of cirit (jereed) and for public celebrations of the circumcision of royal princes. One of the monuments on the spina of the Hippodrome was a stone column originally sheathed in bronze, but this was melted down to mint coins by the Fourth Crusaders after they occupied Istanbul in the thirteenth century and set up a Latin empire which lasted until the middle of the century. During the Turkish period climbing this bare column was regarded as an acrobatic feat, as recorded by eyewitnesses and contemporary miniatures.

In 1755 Mahmud I (1730-1754) built the Nuruosmaniye Mosque at one of the entrances to the Covered Bazaar. With its polygonal projecting mihrap and western stylistic influences, this mosque was very different from its predecessors. Its complex consisted of an imaret, medrese, library, türbe, sebil, fountain and shops.

In 1763 Mustafa III (1757-1774) built his royal mosque in Laleli, with its complex of imaret, fountain, sebil, türbe, han, medrese, muvakkithane(horologe room), houses for the imam and müezzin, and shops. Its architect is thought to be Hacı Mehmed Ağa.
Dersaadet of the Ottomans

In the nineteenth century Istanbul’s population consisted of Muslim Turks, Orthodox Greeks, Gregorian and Catholic Armenians, Jews, Levantines and colonies of foreign merchants.

This century was a time of modernisation and reform for the Ottoman Empire, and naturally the capital city was at the forefront of these changes. In the process of westernisation in the military, economic and social fields foreign experts from Europe were appointed to important posts, particularly in the army, which had German, Swedish, British and French paşas in its ranks. The sultans adopted the dress of their western counterparts, rejecting kaftans and şalvarin favour of trousers and jackets, and replacing the turban with the fez. In the cultural field, westernstyle painting, architecture and music became popular.

The reign of Mahmud II (1808-1839) marked the first most important phase of these changes. In 1824 the empire’s first newspaper, Smyrnéen, went into publication in İzmir. Convinced that the tradition-bound Janissary Corps was no longer capable of defending the empire, Mahmud II laid plans to found a new modern army, resolving to pick 150 of the ablest soldiers from each of the 51 janissary regiments in Istanbul for this puıpose. When the news got out it sparked off a janissary revolt on the night of 4 June 1826. The janissaries rampaged through the city looting, but when they found that they had no popular support from citizens who backed the sultan’s plans, they retreated to their barracks. The sultan’s own forces surrounded the barracks and bombarded them, killing all those inside and then set fire to the building. Thus, after 465 years, the Janissary Corps was dissolved on 15 June 1826. Sultan Mahmud II set about founding his new army.

Mahmud II’s own royal mosque, the Nusretiye, was built by Kirkor Amira Balyan for the sultan in 1826. The şadırvan in the stone courtyard has twelve taps and a conical roof resting on twelve slender columns.

The first steam driven vessels began to replace sailing ships around this time. Meanwhile, fires continued to ravage the city at frequent intervals, since almost all the houses were made of wood. In 1828 the Balyan family of architects built the 50 m high Beyazıt fire tower.

The first bridge connecting the walled city of Istanbul to Galata on the other side of the Golden Horn was constructed in 1836. It was a pontoon bridge designed by Admiral of the Fleet Ahmet Fevzi. Since no toll was charged to cross it, it was known as the Hayratiye (Charity Bridge).

Mahmud II was the first Ottoman sultan to have his portrait hung in government offices. He also had a decoration inaugurated bearing miniature poıtraits of himself, known as Tasvir-i Hümayun (Imperial Portrait), which he presented to his most loyal state officers, hanging the decoration around their necks himself. Conservative factions began to stir up public opposition on the grounds that portraiture contravened religious doctrine, and following the death of Sultan Mahmud in 1839, his portraits in government buildings were covered over by curtains. But gradually people became used to the idea, as they were to become used, to photographs. Mahmud II’s son Sultan Abdülmecid (1839-1861) proclaimed a series of reforms known as the Tanzimat Ferman or Gülhane Hatt-ı Hümayun almost immediately after his accession to the throne. The reforms had been drawn up by Mustafa Reşid Paşa and were proclaimed by the latter in Gülhane Gardens behind Topkapı Palace on 3 November 1839.

In 1847 the first demonstration in the Ottoman Empire of the newly invented telegraph was conducted at the large wooden palace of Beylerbeyi in the presence of Sultan Abdülmecid, who himself sent the first message over the line. He then ordered that a telegraph line be set up between Istanbul and Edirne.

In 1850 Şirket-i Hayriye, Istanbul Maritime Lines, was established and began to organise regular steam ferry services across the Strait of Istanbul and to the Islands.

In 1851 Sultan Abdülmecid had the Empire style Hırka-i Şerif Mosque (Mosque of the Holy Mantle) constructed in Fatih. Here the mantle presented by the Prophet Muhammed to Veysel Karani was to be kept and visited during the month of Ramazan.

Another member of the Balyan family of architects, Nikoğos, built the neo-baroque Ortaköy Mosque on the European shore of the Bosphorus in 1853. The same year the Ottoman Empire and its allies France and Britain began fighting Russia in the Crimean War.

Topkapı Palace, which had been both the sultan’s private residence and seat of government since the fifteenth century, lost this status in 1853 when the court moved to the new palace of Dolmabahçe. This palace, designed by the Balyan family of court architects, was in an eclectic styleheavily influenced by contemporary western architecture.

Two years later Dolmabahçe Mosque, one of the last examples of Empire style in Istanbul, was designed by Garabet Balyan. Its founder was Bezmialem Valide Sultan, the mother of Abdülmecid, who completed its construction after his mother’s death.

Around the same time the small summer palace of Küçüksu designed by Nikoğos Balyan, chief architect to Abdülmecid, was constructed on the Asian shore of the Bosphorus in the area known to Europeans as the Sweet Waters of Asia.

The nineteenth century saw a rush of new inventions and an expansion of world trade, and from the middle of the nineteenth century onwards the fashion for trade and industrial exhibitions began. Here goods from all over the world and the latest inventions were displayed to the public. The first Ottoman trade fair was held in Sultanahmet in 1863 during the reign of Sultan Abdülaziz (1861-1876). The exhibits ranged fromcommodities like Turkish coffee and silk production, to the fine arts, including architectural models. The first two days of each week the exhibition was opened to women only. The same year Sultan Abdülaziz visited Cairo.

In 1865 the architect Sarkis Balyan built the new Beylerbeyi Palace in place of the old wooden palace on the Asian shore of the Strait of Istanbul.

On 21 June 1867 Sultan Abdülaziz became the first Ottoman sultan to pay a state visit abroad. He travelled by the royal yacht, the Sultaniye,to Toulon, from where he took the train to Paris, and then travelled to England. He returned by land via Belgium, Coblenz, Prussia, Vienna andBudapest, aı-riving back in Istanbul on 7 August.

In 1847 the first demonstration in the Ottoman Empire of the newly invented telegraph was conducted at the large wooden palace of Beylerbeyi in the presence of Sultan Abdülmecid, who himself sent the first message over the line. He then ordered that a telegraph line be set up between Istanbul and Edirne.

In 1850 Şirket-i Hayriye, Istanbul Maritime Lines, was established and began to organise regular steam ferry services across the Strait of Istanbul and to the Islands.
In 1851 Sultan Abdülmecid had the Empire style Hırka-i Şerif Mosque (Mosque of the Holy Mantle) constructed in Fatih. Here the mantle presented by the Prophet Muhammed to Veysel Karani was to be kept and visited during the month of Ramazan.

Another member of the Balyan family of architects, Nikoğos, built the neo-baroque Ortaköy Mosque on the European shore of the Bosphon in 1853. The same year the Ottoman Empire and its allies France and Britain began fighting Russia in the Crimean War.

Topkapı Palace, which had been both the sultan’s private residence and seat of government since the fifteenth century, lost this status in 1853 when the court moved to the new palace of Dolmabahçe. This palace, designed by the Balyan family of court architects, was in an eclectic styleheavily influenced by contemporary western architecture.

Two years later Dolmabahçe Mosque, one of the last examples of Empire style in Istanbul, was designed by Garabet Balyan. Its founder was Bezmialem Valide Sultan, the mother of Abdülmecid, who completed its construction after his mother’s death.

Around the same time the small summer palace of Küçüksu designed by Nikoğos Balyan, chief architect to Abdülmecid, was constructed on the Asian shore of the Bosphon in the area known to Europeans as the Sweet Waters of Asia.

The nineteenth century saw a rush of new inventions and an expansion of world trade, and from the middle of the nineteenth century onwards the fashion for trade and industrial exhibitions began. Here goods from all over the world and the latest inventions were displayed to the public. The first Ottoman trade fair was held in Sultanahmet in 1863 during the reign of Sultan Abdülaziz (1861-1876). The exhibits ranged fromcommodities like Turkish coffee and silk production, to the fine arts, including architectural models. The first two days of each week the exhibition was opened to women only. The same year Sultan Abdülaziz visited Cairo.

In 1865 the architect Sarkis Balyan built the new Beylerbeyi Palace in place of the old wooden palace on the Asian shore of the Strait of Istanbul.

On 21 June 1867 Sultan Abdülaziz became the first Ottoman sultan to pay a state visit abroad. He travelled by the royal yacht, the Sultaniye, to Toulon, from where he took the train to Paris, and then travelled to England. He returned by land via Belgium, Coblenz, Prussia, Vienna andBudapest, arriving back in Istanbul on 7 August.

In 1871 Çırağan Palace was built by Sarkis and Agop Balyan according to a design by Nikoğos Balyan. A royal hunting lodge was then built at Ayazağa in Maslak, and the Valide Mosque founded by Pertevniyal Valide Sultan, mother of Sultan Abdülaziz in Aksaray, which had been commenced in 1869 but left unfinished, was completed in 1871. This mosque complex, consisting of school, türbe, muvakkithane and sebil, was designed and built by Sarkis Balyan. The diverse and ornate decoration on the façades distinguish it from other nineteenth century mosques, as do the neo-Gothic features of the interior.

Horse-drawn trams and the short underground funicular railway which carried passengers up and down the steep hill between the commercial district of Karaköy on the shore and the residential district of Pera introduced alternative means of transport in Istanbul.

In 23 December 1876, the year of his accession, Abdülhamid II (1876-1909) proclaimed the First Constitutional Government. For a brief time the Ottoman Empire was ruled by a constitutional monarchy, but three months later the sultan dissolved Parliament and repealed the constitution. The Academy of Fine Arts (Sanayi-i Nefise Mektebi) was founded, primarily due to the efforts of Osman Hamdi Bey, who was also instrumental in the founding of the Archaeological Museum, later housed in a building designed by Vallaury.

Sultan Abdülhamid II appointed photographers to document events, buildings and sights around the empire, and was the principal patron of photography in Ottoman Turkey. He sent albums of photographs to fellow heads of state around the world, as a means of illustrating the progress and achievements of his empire.

The area northwest of Beşiktaş had been forest in Byzantine times, and was a hunting ground for Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent and his successors. When the waterfront palaces were constructed there, the woodland was preserved as a park belonging to the palace grounds. Early in the nineteenth century Sultan Selim III had a country house constructed in this woodland for his mother Mihrişah Valide Sultan and in 1834 Sultan Mahmud II had another country house known as Yıldız built here. In 1842 Sultan Abdülmecid had a third house built here for his mother Bezmialem Valide Sultan. The area became known as Yıldız, and the small complex of royal summer residences here grew into a full-scale palace with the accession of Sultan Abdülhamid II in 1876. He constructed new state apartments, the Şale Kasır (so named because its architecture was inspired by the chalets of Switzerland), and the köşks (pavilions or country houses) of Malta and Çadır designed by Sarkis andAgop Balyan. The Italian architect Raimondo d’Aronco designed the Winter Gardens and conservatories, the guard pavilion, the Harem Köşk, the Aides Köşk, the stable building, theatre, and exhibition building. In 1896 the terraced stone houses on Akaretler Hill were constructed to house palace officials.

The Second Constitution was proclaimed on 23 July 1908, and in 1909, the year that Haydarpaşa Railway Station was opened, Abdülhamid II was deposed by the Young Turks.


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