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The Topkapi Palace complex, one of the major sights in Istanbul, a shame you are forbidden to take photos in many of the rooms. Not that the heavy crowds would allow it.

Not that I took a photo – of the blood splatters or bullet holes that our guide pointed out – but under the entrance portal, the Imperial Gate, a Libyan gunman was shot dead here less than a year ago. There are armed guards outside the gate. Accepting how sensitive some countries are to taking photos of police and security forces I didn’t dare although thought of a ‘hand on trigger’ type shot was very tempting (would make a refreshing change from the usual ‘hand on wine glass’).

The Topkapı Palace is a large palace in Istanbul, Turkey, that was the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans for approximately 400 years (1465-1856) of their 624-year reign.

As well as a royal residence, the palace was a setting for state occasions and royal entertainments. It is now a major tourist attraction and contains important holy relics of the Muslim world, including Muhammed’s cloak and sword. The Topkapı Palace is among the monuments contained within the “Historic Areas of Istanbul”, which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985, and is described in Criterion iv as “the best example[s] of ensembles of palaces [...] of the Ottoman period.” Wikipedia

Photo Gallery: Topkapi Palace, Istabul


  1. Always sad when cultural sites become charged with political conflicts. Although banning photos does make visitors actually live in the moment rather than live life through their lens (ahem!). Looks like an impressive building (and of course, I like the snuggled sleeping dogs!)

  2. Natalie says:

    Sometimes I can understand the reason for banning photos but a lot of the time, I don’t. Been to Topkapi twice now and still plan to return. It never stops being awesome

    • andrew says:

      A fantastic place indeed, but my visit was rather marred by rain. And I’m not my best in huge crowds. But a good reason to return!

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