• The Position of Ottoman Palace Cuisine in Social Life
  • The Position of Ottoman Palace Cuisine in Social Life
  • The Position of Ottoman Palace Cuisine in Social Life
  • The Position of Ottoman Palace Cuisine in Social Life
  • The Position of Ottoman Palace Cuisine in Social Life
  • The Position of Ottoman Palace Cuisine in Social Life

For this reason, the palace cuisine included various regional and world cuisines. The nutritional function, which is one of the necessities of life, manifested itself in the palace, in a collective house, in a standard family, in the form of simple rules and basically main practices...

The Position of Ottoman Palace Cuisine in Social Life
Gurer MUT
Abstract: This study deals with the social position of the Ottoman palace cuisine and the historical background of this cuisine. When we investigate the Ottoman society and its traditional codes, we will see that many cultural codes exist in this cuisine. For this reason, we will focus on the culinary culture, the food tradition, the existence of the bridge from the past to the future, and the values ​​that can be taught and developed.
The Ottoman palace is in the position of a kitchen where a cultural richness that cannot even exist, such as food culture, has grown exponentially. Many tools and equipment, from the tools and equipment used, were also affected by the continental expanse of the Ottoman Empire.
1. Introduction
When I started to work, I should mention that this study was carried out to investigate the historicity of the Ottoman culinary tradition, based on the kitchen equipment in the Istanbul Archeology Museum, which contains some riches. In this study, it will be tried to concentrate on the effects of some equipment, especially from Eastern Rome, on the food culture. To begin with, we can begin by describing the location of the palace here. Since the palace was the residence of the sultan and members of the dynasty, it consisted of various units that ensured the continuation of life. Of course, there were people from various active groups among the palace officials and in the Divan-ı Hümayyad. 
For this reason, the palace cuisine included various regional and world cuisines. The nutritional function, which is one of the necessities of life, manifested itself in the palace, in a collective house, in a standard family, in the form of simple rules and basically main practices. The only difference was that the palace cuisine had an exaggeration for variety and quality, as it served many people and, of course, members of the dynasty. In this context, the research will be examined under 5 main titles. These titles are, respectively, the Historical process, Status, the differences of the utensils according to the periods, the culinary culture of the palace and the social subculture. 
2. Assumption of Research
Ottoman cuisine had a cuisine that emerged as a result of a great historical richness and in the light of great cultural codes. Ottoman palace cuisine includes both the codes it carries from Central Asia and the features of Eastern Roman and Arabian cuisine culture. These codes show many changes, from kitchen utensils to the way the food is prepared, to the materials used. 
3. The Problematic of Research
While creating the problematic of the research, it will be important to bring together more than one problem to ensure a holistic approach. The reason for this is the result of the fact that the Ottoman palace cuisine contains many cultural codes, not from a certain level. These questions are formulated as follows:
What is the place of the concept of status in the Ottoman palace cuisine? What are the cultural codes in the Ottoman palace cuisine? How did the pots and utensils used in the Ottoman cuisine change in the historical plane?
4. The Problematics of the Research
In general terms, this research aims to investigate how the perception of food has evolved in Turkish culture and what historical intervals it has passed through in this process. 
5. Five Main Titles of the Research
a) Historical process
It is useful to start by presenting some historical data on this topic. First of all, as I mentioned in the introduction, I can say that there is a benefit in specifying the food and cooking utensils of the Central Asian Turks. 
First of all, let us state that the Central Asian Turks are engaged in agriculture and animal husbandry. Central Asian Turks, especially in their meals, mostly used wheat and oily pastries made with wheat flour. Boza, made from millet, is among the first foods of Central Asian Turks. In Central Asian Turks, "game animals" have an important place. Horse is an important source of nutrition and means of transportation. The basic food of the ancient Turks is sheep and dairy products. Sheep are followed by goats and cattle, respectively. These animals are used for milk production. On the Turkish table, milk is consumed alone, as well as dairy products such as butter, cheese, yoghurt, ayran, and cottage cheese, as well as dishes with milk yogurt and desserts.
On the other hand, the Seljuks created a unique culinary culture with their food varieties, cooking and preservation techniques in their own time. In the Seljuks, there are two meals, called the morning meal and the evening (zevale) meal. Birdwatching is done between morning and noon. Filling meals are preferred. At dinner, there is plenty of variety and it is eaten before it gets dark. It is seen as a symbol of the habit of eating meat, flour and oil during the Seljuk period. Lamb, goat, goat, horse and chicken are the most eaten meat. Birds and fish can be added to these. Vegetable dishes were not preferred much in the Seljuks, where the offal of the slaughtered animal was consumed a lot.
The development of the Ottoman Empire was also reflected in the Turkish Cuisine culture. In the 15th century, the dishes were few and simple; In the 16th century, it lived its most glorious years. This glorious period continued in the 17th and 18th centuries, but the impoverishment process of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century also affected the Turkish cuisine culture.
In the Ottomans, the kitchen was an important part of the palace life. The sultan, his dignitaries and nobles saw gathering around a table as a social activity, so the palace kitchen was a place that always sought innovations and created delicious and rich dishes. Chefs competed with each other in order to produce the dishes that were pleasing to the sultans and to make the banquets more spectacular and contributed to the enrichment of the Turkish Cuisine culture.   
b) Status and Power
We also need to take a closer look at the food and the process of building status through food. First of all, it should be noted that the share to be taken from food is shaped on the basis of the individual's place in the social hierarchy. In steppe lands, where animal production is essential, each piece of meat, which is the main food item, is expected to have a separate value and to be shared according to the value of the pieces. This differentiation is also the most important indicator of the place of the person who is entitled to receive that piece in the social hierarchy. At a ceremonial meal, the portion that everyone will eat from sheep, which is the staple food of the Turkish community on the move, is predetermined. This is inherited from the ancestors. That is, the degree of ancestral service is recognized by the community and carried on through generations. 
The influence of the power on food is not only determined by the seat at the table, the social and political hierarchy of the parts of the food, but also the consumption right of some foods belongs to certain social segments. History is often based on a historical culture that symbolically expresses status inequalities and legitimizes the relations of domination that these inequalities create. While some foods are the right of the monarch, some foods are the people's. 
In this context, hunting and hunting appear as an important indicator of power in Turks. As such, it is the right of the monarch to organize a hunt. In addition, the meat of wild animals is more prestigious in Turks than the meat of domesticated animals. Sacrificial deer, cattle and wild horses are hunted to present the sky, the earth and the dead.
Here, the rights that belonged to the ruler in particular, contained some holiness in a way. So much so, that the food to be brought to the table was placed on the table by the ruler, to a large extent, contained a sacredness. Hunting of some deer species in Turks is a feature of greatness in terms of hunting and cuisine. The issue of the sacrificial animal being a male is an important issue. Palaces sacrifice three-year-old white rams in the ritual they perform every three years. Only men attend the ceremony and those who come to the ceremony do not come with mares. If the meat of the sheep is not enough, an ox that is two years old is sacrificed.
Finally, symbols occupy an important place in the establishment of authority in society. The symbols of power and obedience that individuals socially construct have an important place in the establishment of the order of social life. Social life tends towards balance. The establishment of this balance involves accepting power and using symbols that show it, as seen in eating practices. These symbols represent the social hierarchy, sitting order at the table, eating the determined part of the meal and serving in the order that is appreciated. All these symbols are social elements agreed upon.
c) The place of utensils in culinary culture
This section is thought to be added to the research, especially after the Archeology museum examination. It would be correct to associate the tiled mansion with this section in particular. The reason for this is that the works exhibited in the relevant section contain 'pots and pans' from the Ottoman period.
In the Ottoman Period, besides the diversity, the dishes show richness as a construction material. One of them is ceramic. Ceramic; Although it is one of the materials used in the construction of lunch boxes, it requires different classifications according to its own structure. The geography where the societies settled causes the ceramic pots to differ in form, color, texture and body. 
In addition, ceramic pots, which have a reinforced structure that are durable and not easily affected by external factors, conduct heat well and cool down slowly. In this respect, ceramics has become a popular form of equipment. As a matter of fact, the history of ceramic youth consisted of porcelains from the Far East and Europe. While Chinese porcelain affects local productions from time to time, European porcelains were produced in the first porcelain factory established in the Ottoman period. In local centers, various productions were made from terracotta to tiles.
Red paste, white paste, glazed, unglazed, decorated and undecorated vessels were produced here and took their place on the tables of the people and the palace. The pots used in the food habits, which can be examined in two groups as the palace and the public, may also differ in terms of construction materials. In terms of form, there is a variety of containers regardless of material differences.
c.1 - Iznik Ceramic Pots
Iznik, whose ceramic production dates back to the Hellenistic and Roman periods, shows the existence of a rich and high quality ceramic tradition here before the Ottoman period. Iznik pottery is collected in two main groups as red and white paste. It is possible to examine the red paste ceramic in three different techniques and styles called sgraffito, slip and "Milet work". From the 14th to the 15th centuries, ceramics were generally made for the daily needs of the people in these three techniques. Towards the end of the 15th century, with the production of white paste, thin and smooth transparent glazed ceramics of Iznik ceramics, the mass produced by the workshops began to change gradually. Workshops now produce for two different environments; courtly and non-palatial people. Over time, although the production was completely under the control of the palace, the production for the people did not stop. In the time remaining after the palace orders, production was made for the public and sold in the markets.
From the middle of the 16th century, red was added to the blue-white decoration with green, turquoise and black. Coral red with a slightly puffy undertone was characteristic of the 16th century. A naturalist style draws attention in the decoration. Flowers such as roses, tulips, carnations, hyacinths, hatayi and rosette flowers are the main motifs used. In addition to the ceramic works in Iznik workshops, tiles were produced for structures such as mosques, tombs, madrasahs, baths, palaces, soup kitchens, libraries and mansions in line with the patterns prepared in the palace painter's house. . economic troubles, 
c.2 - Kütahya Ceramic Pots
Ceramic production in Kütahya started in the last half of the 14th century and initially red paste works were produced. As decoration, cobalt blue, manganese purple, turquoise and black colors are used in Kütahya tiles, which have similar lines with Iznik. Kütahya tiles, which are slightly darker in color than Iznik, are similar to Seljuk tiles due to this feature. 15th century, from red paste ceramics to blue-white production. Kütahya, which was mentioned in the past, has been a follower of Iznik with this aspect. Despite the high quality production of Iznik tiles for the capital and the palace, Kütahya tiles were produced to meet the needs of the people and continued the Anatolian tile tradition.
c.3 - Food Preparation and Cooking Utensils
In the food culture of every society, there is a preparation process that the food goes through until it takes its place on the tables. This preparation stage is in a direct relationship with the cultural structure of societies. While some societies prepare their meals without touching the essence of the material to be used in the meal (Chinese Food Culture), in some societies this is not given importance and the presentation of the food is given importance (Japanese Food Culture). The social structure determines some products that can be eaten and are strictly prohibited under the influence of religion. The only constant point is the necessity of using tools and equipment in the food preparation process without being dependent on the social and cultural structure. 
In Turkish food culture, there are containers that are kept in kitchens and cellars, never seen by people who consume the food until it comes to the table. This group, a large part of which consists of metal vessels, consists of the same kind of vessels in the palace cuisine and public cuisine in the Ottoman period. Containers such as water-oil cubes, pitchers, cups, basins, jars, bottles, colanders, and mortars are used for cleaning, preserving and pre-preparing food, while large-sized cauldrons, pots, ladles and pans are used for cooking food.
d) Culinary culture of the palace
The geographical location of Anatolian lands, the migrations and expeditions that have been going on for years have made it inevitable that the cultures of the European, Asian and African continents will show the effects of the Anatolian lands. This is clearly seen in our food culture. Meat and animal food consumption habits from the steppe life of Central Asia, and agricultural products brought by settled life together with migrations to the West have become indispensable elements of our food culture. When the Turks settled in Anatolia, the food and beverage customs of the tribes that had lived in these lands for thousands of years naturally had a local character. 
“...The meat-based cuisine of the Turks and the regional Anatolian cuisines fused with each other in the process. Fish and olive oil from the Aegean Islands and Aegean coasts, sherbet desserts from the south, Roman cuisine from Byzantium melted in a pot. With the spread of the empire over wide lands, Middle Eastern, Southern Mediterranean and European dishes also entered this pot, further developing and enriching the Anatolian Cuisine...” Within this mosaic, Anatolian food culture has experienced a continuous renewal process since the establishment of the Ottoman Empire (1299). 
In this period, cuisines can be considered as local cuisines and central imperial cuisine. The local cuisine covers all Anatolian lands, as well as the nutritional habits of all ethnic groups here, as well as the elements that the Ottomans brought to Anatolian culture through campaigns. This is clearly seen in some food names in our food culture; Such as “Circassian chicken”, “Albanian liver”, “Tatar pastry”, “Damascus father”, “Pastor stew”. The organizational structure, which originally existed as the Central Imperial cuisine, contained seasonings. Later, this structure turned into Matbah-ı Amire (Palace Cuisine) complex. Whether it is local or palace cuisine, there is a wide variety in the Ottoman cuisine, both with the materials used and their combinations.
e) Social subculture
If we were to present this title in general terms, the development of the understanding of subjects in a feudal society like the Ottoman Empire and the perception of the ruler as a gift to the society, led to the emergence of certain paradigms in the society. Since we know that food is used as a symbol of power even in the Divan, it will not be difficult to estimate the reflection of this process in social dynamics. Hakan is domineering in Central Asia and is seen as a symbol of fertility. In fact, the same process is valid in the Ottoman Empire. The clearest indication of this is that the palace kitchen opens to the public on certain days of the week and feeds them. As a power, the sultan is in the 'sublime' position that feeds his society.
6. Causality of Research Topics
1)  Historical Process: It is extremely important to research the historicity of the subject in the process of researching food culture and especially in the process of associating it with an Archeology museum. As far as I have seen in the archeology museum, the fact that food, which has a dominant position in social life, develops itself by renewing itself after various processes, and a historical analysis to be made in the light of impressions when starting the subject is of great importance for me.
2)  Status and Power: The study of this subject was also done in order to understand the meaning of food in the hands of a power. In particular, I tried to understand how the power relations in these lands progressed as a result of the Central Asian tradition belief that the Turks adopted and in which position the food was in these power relations.
3)  The place of utensils in culinary culture: This was an extremely important topic. We closely followed the progress of the ancient pottery in the archaeological museum in the historical process. Concerning this, I have searched from various sources on this topic, thinking that the progress in technical equipment and in a sense, food perceptions will change after a while.
4)  The culinary culture of the palace: We can say that the Ottoman palace consists of a combination of many foreign cuisines. It can be thought that this develops a different perception of taste. In addition, the change in the food rituals experienced stands before us at a considerable rate. When I combine all these, I think that the subject stands in an important place in unity.
5)  Social subculture: The existence of a suppressed subject, that is, the people, cannot be discussed in the Ottoman Empire. This title would be appropriate to understand how the fact that the emperor, who was adopted and sanctified by the majority of the people, saw himself as a great glamorous person who also fed himself, turned into a mechanism that suppressed him over the years. In addition, the role of food in creating this perception has a holistic nature that requires research.
Turkish Cuisine Chefs, Turkish Chef, Restaurant Consultancy, Kitchen Consultancy.
7. Questionnaires of the Research
1)  In order to understand the historical process of the food culture in the Ottoman Empire, what kind of path should be followed first?
2)  What is the contribution of the social position of the powerful ruler to the food culture?
3)  Can we say that the use of utensils and utensils in a historical process emerged as a result of a certain change?
4)  What role does the palace as a whole play in enriching the food culture?
5)  What are the main factors that distinguish the subculture and the palace culture from each other.
1 Tavernier, Jean Babtista; "Life in Topkapi Palace" trans. Perran Üstündağ, Contemporary Spring. 2nd Edition.,
1985, Ankara.
2 BESIRLI, Hayati “Food, Culture, Identity”, National Folklore, Traditional Publishing, 2010, p.87,
3 Nurşen Özkul Fındık, Ottoman Ceramics Among the Iznik Roman Theater Finds, 2001, p.203.
4 http://www.sadberkhanimmuzesi.org.tr/turkish/sanat/iznik.htm
5 Nurşen Özkul Fındık, supra, p, 120
6 Deniz Gürsoy, Food and the Evolution of Catering (1st Edition. Istanbul: Sofra, 1995), p. 43.
As the head chef Ahmet ÖZDEMİR, I see the source:
Mr. I sincerely thank Gurer MUT for her academic work titled "The Position of Ottoman Palace Cuisine in Social Life" and wish her success in her professional life. It will definitely be considered as an example by those who need it in professional kitchens and the gastronomy and culinary community.
Turkish Cuisine Chefs, Turkish Chef, Restaurant Consultancy, Kitchen Consultancy.