The Porte

This was a Seraglio built in the most beautiful part of Istanbul the administrative centre of the Turkish empire between 1465 and 1478, the exact location of which was a mountain top situated between the Golden Horn Basin and the Marble Sea, and named after an old seaside bulwark the Topkapi, which translates as "Cannon Gate Palace". The Sultan's palace consisted of several courts. The external gate led to the "Outside Court" where those who provided the external services for the empirical court stayed. To the second, "Middle Court" only those gained admission who had business in the actual Palace. The different festive celebrations were organised here, but the conference hall of the divan and the treasury were also situated in the Middle Court which was also the venue for foreign ambassadorial receptions. Behind the third gate called the "Gate of Happiness" was the third and the fourth gates, the "Inner Suites" and the harem. Only the sultan and his family as well as their servants were allowed to stay here. The governing system and household of the provincial governors (begler beys and pashas) followed the divan and the court's example in its establishment. Likewise to the Sultan's case, a divan worked next to the pashas of Buda and the same functionaries as the ones for him.