Second Courtyard/Council Square
The Gate of Salutation, generally known as the center Gate (Orta Kapi) leads in to the palace proper; using its two grand towers, it served to be a symbol in the pomp and majesty of the Ottoman state, and contains since become an icon for the complete of Topkapi Palace too. Built during the reign of Sultan Mehmed II, the Gate of Salutation subsequently underwent numerous renovations within the 16th and 17th centuries. Exactly the sultan was permitted to pass through the Gate of Salutation on horseback; the grand vizier and all of other state officials were necessary to dismount before entering. However, the women with the palace were permitted to feel the gate in royal carriages.
The Gate of Salutation’s two towers were constructed inside the time of Sultan Suleiman I (r. 1520–66), known in English as Suleiman the Magnificent plus Turkish as Suleiman the Lawgiver (Kanûnî). In one of these towers was the space the location where the Chief Gatekeeper would receive foreign ambassadors until these were granted permission to go into the palace. Currently, the museum visit begins for the Gate of Salutation.
Your second Courtyard, also called the Council Square (Dîvân Meydani), was laid out inside the 1460s, soon after Sultan Mehmed II had conquered the town. It served just as one official representation with the Ottoman state, like a ceremonial grounds for state governance: here were held the ceremonies of royal enthronement (cülûs-ý hümâyûn), formal holiday festivities, the reception of ambassadors, and the stipend paid for the sultan’s household soldiers (`ulûfe dîvâni), among them the Janissary corps. Around the right side in the courtyard, behind the portico, are situated the palace kitchens, during the left side stand the Tower of Justice plus the Domed Chamber (Kubbealti); rogues is the place where meetings in the Imperial Council (Dîvân-i Hümâyûn) were held. At the Domed Chamber stands the External Treasury, which currently houses the museum’s weapons collection. In this corner with the courtyard the Carriage Gate to the Harem apartments can be seen, while you’re on the bottom level, behind the colonnade, the Halberdiers’ Barracks and also the courtyard of the Royal Stables are visible.
In the courtyard to the left in the Gate of Salutation are two fountains constructed inside the time of Sultan Ahmed III (r. 1703–30), while right from the gate are an empty-air prayer ground (namazgâh) through the time of Sultan Selim III (r. 1789–1807) and large fragments of columns dating back to on the Byzantine era. Also noteworthy within this courtyard would be the Byzantine cistern—situated on the Sultan’s Way, that leads throughout the Gate of Salutation towards the Gate of Felicity(Bâbü’s-Sa`âde)—and the salutation stones marking where dignitaries would pause and perform salutations; these include found on the Viziers Way, leading towards Domed Chamber.