Kilerli Koğuşu

The Butlers’ Dormitory (Kilerli Koğuşu) The Butlers’ Dormitory was a section of the palace charged both with maintaining the palace’s storerooms (kiler) and with serving the sultan. Those who worked here were respected palace employees who were quite close to him. The most important duties of the butlers were to cook the sultan’s food, lay the tables, wait on the tables (and clear them after meals), keep the silverware, and wash the dishes. Additionally, they were responsible for providing food and beverages to and maintaining the Harem’s storeroom. They would also provide and light the candles in the large candelabrums found in the rooms of the palace, in the palace mosques, and in the room where the holy relics were kept. Another duty of the butlers was to collect the waters of April showers and present them to the sultan, who would then pay them a gratuity for this service. For the butlers to carry out all of these services, they were required to be in a state of ritual cleanliness (âbdest). All of the duties accorded to the Butlers’ Dormitory were, in fact, required to be done according to a certain method. The Chief Butler (kilercibaşı), who had in his service several hundred employees, was also charged with the supervision of the employees working in the Imperial Kitchens in the Outer Palace (Bîrûn). The Butlers’ Dormitory burned down in 1856 and was subsequently rebuilt. Currently, the building houses the Topkapı Palace Museum Offices.