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Biography of a monument: Historical and morphological survey of the Tower of Justice (Adalet Kulesi) [ITU J Faculty Arch]
ITU J Faculty Arch. Articles in Press: ITUJFA-87262 | DOI: 10.5505/itujfa.2021.87262  

Biography of a monument: Historical and morphological survey of the Tower of Justice (Adalet Kulesi)

Nilay Özlü
Barakat Postdoctoral Fellow, Khalili Research Centre, Oriental Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

The Tower of Justice (Adalet Kulesi) in the Topkapı Palace is the most striking and visible feature of the imperial complex, defining the renowned silhouette of the Seraglio. This imperial tower, known as Kasr-ı Adl or Kasr-ı Padişahi, was a reflection of the Ottoman visual ideologies and believed to represent the power and glory of the ruler, as an embodiment of his omniscient eye, watching over his subjects to distribute justice. This paper is an attempt to document the architectural and symbolic evolution of this significant monument and scrutinize the changing meanings attributed to it from the 15th century until the 19th century. The date of construction and the patron of the latest Tower of Justice –as we see it today– is not yet documented. Under the light of visual sources and morphological analysis, this research sheds light on the period, in which the latest neo-classical pavilion surmounting the tower was built. Archival documents from the Ottoman State Archives and Topkapı Palace Museum Archives, together with inscriptions, engravings, paintings, and photographs are used in this research to demonstrate the transformation and continuous renovation of the Tower of Justice throughout the Ottoman era.

Keywords: Tower-kiosk, Bursa, Edirne, Istanbul, Topkapı Palace, Tower of Justice.

Corresponding Author: Nilay Özlü, United Kingdom

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