Hürrem sultan’s palace to be preserved
EDİRNE - Anadolu Agency
AA PhotoEdirne Palace, located next to the River Tunca in the western province of Edirne, is currently under restoration and will soon be opened to the public, along with its surrounding area. The palace was home to Fatih Sultan Mehmet and Süleyman the Magnificent during the glory years of the Ottoman Empire.
When the Ottoman Empire took control of Edirne in 1361, they ordered for a palace to be constructed around the Selimiye Mosque. When this first palace did not meet the expectations of the sultan, the Edirne Palace was then constructed.
There is little information available on the first palace, and the only detail historians know is that the first palace was ruined during the construction of Selimiye Mosque’s social complex and included in the land of Selimiye.
The construction of the Edirne Palace started at the time of Murat II and ended during the reign of Fatih Sultan Mehmet. Although Istanbul was the capital, the palace was seen as important symbol of the Ottoman Empire.
Excavation works that have been continuing for six years in the area of the palace have so far unearthed the Ottoman era sewerage system, kitchen tools of the palace and the perfume bottles used by Hürrem Sultan. Now the plan is to take this area under protection and turn it into an ancient site.
The head of the excavations and Bahçeşehir University associate professor, Mustafa Özer, said the works were being carried out in collaboration with the Culture Ministry and the university.
“Within the scope of the works that have been continuing since 2009, the restoration of some of the palace structures such as the bath and kitchen were finished. Also, we made a building survey of the palace, documented with photos. As well as a 3D animation of the Edirne Palace, a book on the works and a road map was also published by Bahçeşehir University’s publisher,” Özer said.
He added that this season’s excavations would unearth the walls surrounding the palace and excavation and restoration works would then begin around the Namazgah Fountain.
“We will launch the palace and its vicinity. This will protect the excavation area. The ministry is carrying out the preparatory works and we plan to finish the mapping in the coming days to create the infrastructure for the Edirne Palace Ruins project. The kitchen palace will also be functionalized this year as part of the project,” Özer also said.
National Palaces to hand over restorations
Edirne Governor Dursun Ali Şahin, who took office last month, made a statement saying that the palace restoration works would be completely handed over to the National Palaces Department of the Turkish Grand Assembly.
The palace, which includes 72 different structures, has not undergone any restoration work since 2009, and Şahin criticized the fact that four different institutions had been involved the process. “This is why all the restoration works will now be handed over to the Turkish Grand National Assembly’s National Palaces Department,” he said.
“The main issue is the construction of the structures in the palace. This issue is very important for Edirne. Right now four or five institutions deal with this process. It will not work in this way. We believed that it would be the right decision to give this mission to a single institute. The area of the Edirne Palace will be allocated to the National Palaces Department because it does not have financial problems. We are eagerly awaiting the end of the project,” the governor added.