Babusselam (Welcome Gate)

Fodlahâne, entered through the Bâb-ı Hümâyun, Odun Anbarı, İç Cebehâne, etc. At the end of the first courtyard where the service buildings and the wards of those serving here are located, there is the Bâbüsselâm, which is the main entrance of the Topkapı Palace, formerly called Sarây-ı Cedîd. This entrance, also called the Middle Gate, has a magnificent view between the towers rising on both sides. As a result of the changes the palace has undergone over the centuries, the first form of Bâbüsselâm has also changed. The real Sarây-ı Hümâyun only starts from this gate. Next to the door was the captain’s flat and the janitors’ ward.

When it was first built, it is estimated that Bâbüsselâm was like a simple passage opened on the wall surrounding the palace. Although two towers are identified in the wood engraving engraving (p. 257) in Hartmann Schedel’s work of world history called Weltchronik, published in Nuremberg in 1493, they are more of Bâbüsselâm’s XV. It is doubtful enough to prove that it could have a double tower in the 21st century. Bâbüsselâm, the basis of its current appearance XVI. century, during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent. From the double door, from the wrought iron wings of the outer one, the bronze inlaid “amel-i amelsâ b. The phrase “Mehmed” and the date 931 (1524-25) can be regarded as the date of Bâbüsselâm’s acquisition of this form. XVI. In two of the Hünernâme miniatures prepared by Seyyid Lokman towards the end of the century, this door is marked with its pointed-capped towers on both sides and a wall with dents on top. Above this wall, perhaps only one miniature indicates the presence of a mansion with windows above the doorway. It is surprising that such a mansion is not found in the other picture. E. Hakkı Ayverdi, “The towers are far from being a castle bastion in terms of size; However, the inspiration was taken from the castels that Kanûnî saw in the Hungarian conquest and the towers were built by him. In these towers there is a XV. Century Central European and Mediterranean fragrance is evident ”.

XVIII. It is clearly seen in a painting of the 21st century that the appearance of Bâbüsselâm is as it is now. Above the main door vent, there is a great inscription of “kalima-i tawheed”, which is thought to belong to the period of the Kanûnî, and below it is the Sultan II in the middle of the entrance arch. Mahmud has a signature. On both sides of the door jambs, an inscription of eight couplets in verse, Sultan III. He tells that it was repaired by Mustafa in 1172 (1758-59). The text of these verse inscriptions, which also bear the signature of the same sultan, are of the poet Zihnî. In the last date line, it was also explained that it was called both Bâbüsselâm and Orta Kapı. The poet of four couplets written by the poet Zihnî on a fountain in the baroque style in the entrance hall is also written by Sultan III. The name of Mustafa and the date 1172 (1758-59) are given. Thus, it becomes clear once again that a major repair and change was made in 1172 in Bâbüsselâm. The date 1272 (1855-56) added to the last couplet of the dated one of the long inscriptions next to the entrance should be about a minor repair. Sultan III. The information in two verse inscriptions stating the repair made by Mustafa are repeated in two other inscriptions placed on the back of the door facing the second courtyard.

A wooden porch with a wide canopy leaning on columns was built on the second courtyard of Bâbüsselâm, also called Alay Square and Divan Courtyard, and this porch, the lower faces of the eaves and the walls were richly decorated with embroidery. Their styles show that they were made in a late period. In fact, this porch with wide eaves is considered to be III. It is possible to say that it belongs to Mustafa period repair. In the last century, this ornament was covered with an ugly hand drawn decoration. These embroideries, which are in the form of landscape paintings, were scraped in the 1940s and made of gold in XVIII. those belonging to the century have been unearthed. In recent years, the porch of Bâbüsselâm, especially on the second courtyard side, and its façade here have been overhauled and the embroidery has been repaired.

Bâbüsselâm was mentioned frequently throughout the Ottoman period. Bâbüsselâm has become the symbol of the Ottoman Empire in a way. The imposing outward appearance of the door also emphasizes this idea. It can be said that the word “door” in folk language represents the “state” as an architectural entity at this door. Since the palace officially started from here, even the grand viziers could only enter this door on foot. The rooms on both sides of the door and XVI. After the towers were built in the 21st century, the cells on the ground floor were the places where the dignitaries of the state who had fallen out of favor and were to be decided on were shut down for a short time. As a matter of fact, some of them were executed here. The chief janitors, one of the leading officials of the state, were called the dervish lodges. When the foreign ambassadors who came to enter the presence of the Sultan entered through this door, they were first hosted in the apartment of the head of the doorman for a while. Many important jobs of the state also go to the doorman