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Photographer's Note

The Divan from Topkapi Palace Museum
From the Middle Gate, there are five different paths radiating to various parts of the courtyard which the second from the left leads to the Divan(administrative,advisory and judiciary council of the Sultan). This building is dominated with a square tower with a conical roof. This complex dates back to the time of Conqueror Mehmed II but it was altered in different periods. The Court of the Divan was designed to conduct public administrative and judiciary matters of the Empire and it gathered together four times a week. On such occasions, the whole courtyard was filled with magnificiently dressed officials and the corps of the palace guards and Janissaires, at least 5000 people people on ordinary days. On celebration days, it was twice as much this number.

The Divan complex consists of the Council Chamber(the first room from the left), the Public Records Office and the Office of the Grand Vezir(Prime Minister). The lower walls of these building are revetted in Iznik Tiles of the best period and the upper walls are as well as the vaults are original arabesque painting. The carpets are original Hereke carpets which are exclusively woven by the Palace. The Grand Vezir sat in the middle and over his seat, there is a grilled window looking into a small room in the tower. This was called as "The Eye of The Sultan" because of his hiding place. From here, the door led to the Grand Vezir's Office though the present entrance is from under the elaborate rate portico with its richly painted rococo ceiling. The Records Office which has retained its 18th C. decor, served as an archive for Divan Records and for documents that might be needed at Council Meetings. On the walls, there are miniatures depicting the council meetings.

Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk has won the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature. He is living in Istanbul and his some books related Istanbul.

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Additional Photos by Sezai Sahmay (sahmay) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 33 W: 0 N: 185] (1375)
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