Murat Kocaaslan

Keywords: Topkapı Palace, Harem, IV. Mehmed, Sultana Turhan, Fire, Construction, Accounting Book


In this article the following issue is taken into consideration; the renovation project started after the fire happened in the year 1076 (1665) in the Harem section within the territory of Topkapı Palace creating the most important symbolical and physical parameter of the Ottoman dynasty and empire. In this context especially the impact of Sultana Turhan, who was one of the most important political power of the period, on the project during the renovation process is discussed. The renovation period is taken into consideration in this study in the light of the accounting book concerning the expenses during construction kept at the Ottoman Archive of the Prime Ministry. Major part of the accounting book consisting of seventy pages includes worker and craftsmen fees and transportation fees. In addition to this the materials to be used in the construction and the origins of these materials are stated in details. In this article while the role of the Sultana Turhan during the reconstruction activity started after the fire is being discussed, the epigraphs belong to the period after year 1665 fire and found within Harem together with the accounting book are taken as references. The existing literature concerning the renovation project after the year 1665 does not go beyond the information obtained from the epigraphs found in the Harem. The result we have reached in this study in the light of the data we take into consideration, it is apparent that Sultana Turhan is effective during the renovation of Harem and particularly during the completion of the project started after the fire happened in the middle of the 17th century.