Ibrahim Pasa, swept into slavery by Turkish raids in Greece, became the beloved and trusted boyhood friend of Süleyman the Magnificent. Educated and converted to Islam and eventually appointed grand vizier, Ibrahim Pasa was the sultan's only companion at mealtime, earning him the favored title serasker sultan (commander in chief). He also earned the sultan's sister's hand in marriage.
The palace was a gift from the sultan and was built by Sinan. From this very special palace on the Hippodrome, the sultan's family and friends had front-row seats for festivities in the square. Roxelana, the sultan's wife, managed to dispose of her rival in one of her infamous intrigues by convincing the sultan that his grand vizier had become too big for his britches.
The palace now houses the changing exhibitions of the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, a fine collection of calligraphy, peace treaties, several examples of the sultan's official seal or tugra, and an insightful ethnographic section depicting the lifestyles of nomads and city-dwelling Ottomans.
- © Frommer's 2013
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- Ibrahim Pasa Sarayi, on the Hippodrome, Sultanahmet
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