Chief physician’s Room / Head Tutor’s Tower

The Tower of the Head Tutor (Baş Lala Kulesi), also known as the Chamber of the Chief Physician (Hekimbaşı Odası) was built as a watch tower during the time of Sultan Mehmet II (the Conqueror) on an East Roman-era square-shaped city-wall segment.  
The Chamber of the Chief Physician was a sort of court pharmacy named after the chief of the court physicians, ophthalmologists and surgeons whose number was ranging from 60 to 70, and who belonged to the Ottoman government structure called the “Bîrûn” (as opposed to Enderûn which means innermost, Bîrûn meaning outer, external, was the term used to designate the group of government officials whose workplace was also inside the palace but outside the imperial court’s inner circle).  In addition to the Chamber of the Chief Physician there were two more pharmacies and five hospitals in the court, including one on the Harem premises.
The Sultan in particular and all the members of the Harem and Enderûn were medically treated by a group of physicians, eye doctors and surgeons headed by the Chief Physician. The mixtures and drugs to be administered to the patients were prepared by health workers under the authority of the Chief Physician and in particular, the pages of the Pantry Ward. These special mixtures thus prepared were then conserved in special pots, bowls and bottles.  Abdülhak Molla who served under Sultan Abdülmecit (1839-1861) was the last chief physician of the Topkapı Palace. After the Topkapı Palace ceased to be the permanent residence of the Ottoman sovereigns, the Chief Physician’s Chamber has been used as the palace music room and later as weapons repair workshop.  In the beginning of the 20th century, the restored building was used to collect medical and pharmaceutical material.