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Yedikule Towers Istanbul

Yedikule Towers Istanbul
Originally there were four towers here, near to the land and sea walls, and a further three towers were added after Sultan Mehmed II’s conquest of Istanbul when it was converted into a fortress.  

The Use of Yedikule Towers

During the Ottoman era it was first used as a treasury and then as a prison that was the equivalent of the Tower of London in England.  Those no longer favoured by the imperial families were sent there to be tortured and executed and their heads would be thrown into the “bloody well” (kanlı kuyu) located just inside the gate, that would end up in the Sea of Marmara .  

Famous Captives

Famous captives who met their fate here included Mahmud Pasa, who was one of the finest Grand Vizier’s of the early Ottoman period and was strangled in 1474, and in 1622 Genc (Young) Osman, a 17 year old sultan, because he had threatened the power of the Janissaries was executed by having his testicles squashed, a punishment that was supposed to prevent the spilling of imperial blood.

Ambassador's Tower

The Ambassador’s Tower (Yazılı Kule) or “tower of inscriptions” has graffiti all over the walls written by prisoners from foreign countries who were imprisoned for offending the sultan.  French prisoners of war taken during the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815) were left to languish in Yedikule ; among them was Francois Pouqueville (1770-1838), who wrote a book about his experiences there.

Yedikule Towers Today

The general appearance of the castle is rather poor although there are stunning views from the ramparts and outdoor concerts are often held there.

   

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