Turkish historic palace comes to daylight
EDİRNE - Doğan News Agency
Kum Kasrı Hamamı. DHAThe Edirne Palace, where the Ottoman sultan Mehmet II planned his conquest of Istanbul and which was set to fire by Governor Cemil Pasha before the Russian occupation in 1878, is returning to its magnificent days.
Restoration of the Kum Mansion Bath of the palace, where Hürrem Sultan (the wife of Süleyman the Magnificent) liked to stay when she visited Edirne, has been restored and recently opened to visit. The restoration of Matbah-I Amire (palace kitchens) will also be finished soon.
According to officials, 5 million Turkish liras have been spent on the restoration of these parts of the palace, which cover an area of 3,000 square meters.
The palace, in the northwestern province of Edirne, which was the capital of the Ottoman Empire for 92 years, has become popular again in Turkey thanks to the TV series “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (Magnificent Century) and the movie “Fetih 1453” (Conquest 1453).
Its construction began with the order of Sultan Murad II in 1450 on an island between the two reaches of the River Tuna. When the sultan died, construction was left unfinished for a short time. It was finished by Mehmet the Conqueror and took the name Saray-ı Cedid-i Amire. In later years, the palace became a magnificent structure, with many additional sections built during the reigns of the Süleyman I (the Magnificent) and Mehmet IV.
The palace includes 72 different structures with 117 rooms, 18 Turkish baths, eight small mosques, 17 gates, 13 cellars, and 14 mansions. It was ruined almost completely during the 1878 Russian occupation. Only remnants of the Adalet Mansion, the Kum Mansion Bath, the Cihannüma Mansion (the office of sultans), the Matbah-I Amire and the Bab-üs Saade (gate) have survived until today.
Restoration work began in 2009 in the kitchen of the palace, and in 2011 in the Kum Mansion Bath, used by Hürrem Sultan. The restoration of the later has been finished but the kitchen’s restoration has been postponed due to adverse weather conditions in the region. It is scheduled to be completed by the summer.
Edirne Special Provincial Directorate Secretary General Ahmet Çetin said: “Restoration continues. We need a very big budget and a lot of time. When we find a financial source, the old palace will be revived. But we need a long time.”
In addition, excavations continue in the palace area under the direction of Bahçeşehir University’s Associate Prof. Mustafa Özer. “The conquest of Istanbul was planned in this palace by Sultan Mehmed II. Excavations are continuing with the support of the Turkish Parliament, the Culture and Tourism Ministry and Bahçeşehir University. The palace is among one of Turkey’s most important cultural artifacts, and this interest and support will reverse its bad fortune,” he said.