A Short Historıcal Sketch of Topkapi Palace Istanbul – Chapter 2,
A peculiarity of the Saray is precisely the variety of architectural styles from the fifteenth century to the beginning of the nineteenth which the numerous beautiful buildings within its crenelated walls exemplify. The like of this agglomeration does not exist anywhere in the world and it is a veritable treasure house for students of the history of Turkish architecture. Nowhere else is it possible to find, within one enclosure, the wealth of detail in plan and style, of stone and wood carving, of ceiling decoration and tile designs, or even of the ingenuity displayed in kitchen hearth and water conduit, as exemplified here in kiosk, treasury, mosque, harem, dormitories, the Divan Court, Hall of Petitions, court of justice, library, school and kitchen.
The aim of this booklet is to acquaint the new I. with these buildings of five centuries, and to polio out at the same time the Byzantine works which re to be found within the same enclosure.’ The pages that follow will also contain a description of the treasures which have found their way from the four corners of the earth into the treasure roone4 of this five-century-old Turkish palace, which has provided a setting for so many historical events, via stories, revolts, palace intrigues and adventures. These many treasures have been classified, and several sections of the Museum are devoted to them. Mention will also be made of the archives housed in the Museum, containing thousands of priceless manuscripts covering the history of the Ottoman Empire from its birth. It stands to reason that these many aspects of the Museum cannot be dealt with in thorough detail in a small guide of this nature. A complete description of the contents of this Museum would run into several volumes. We feel very strongly that mere words can not adequately describe to the prospective visitor works of art which he has not yet seen; therefore our aim is to be as brief as possible, merely pointing out the way to these masterpieces, then letting them speak for themselves. It is a great pity that most of these historical structures outside the body of buildings known to – day as the Saray Museum, except for the Sultans Fortifications, the Tiled Pavilion (Cinili Kosk), the Pavilion of Processions (Alay koskii), and the Pavilion of the Basket – Weavers (Sepetciler Koskii), are in a state of 7 disrepair or have been burnt down by fires. Sometimes it is impossible to state with certainty where their position was.