A Gift from the Indian Maharaja to Atatürk

Bearing witness to the birth of modern Istanbul, Pera Palace Hotel today defies the years, on the street that was once known as Grande Rue, with all its glory! Pera Palace Hotel, one of the living heritages of Istanbul with its age of more than a century, continues to keep the memories of its famous guests.

Room 101 of Pera Palace Hotel protects the hallow memory of its most valuable guest, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, with respect and care.  Room 101 has belonged to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk since his first signature on the Pera Palace Hotel memory book in 1917. This room, which was turned into a museum on the 100th anniversary of his birth, houses the Great Leader’s personal belongings and a mysterious gift from the Indian Maharaja.

 

The Story of Room 101

With the outbreak of First World War, Pera Palace began to host the commanding officers of the allied states. Thus, the hotel gained strategic importance during the occupation days of Istanbul. Furthermore, Mustafa Kemal, the commander of the Dardanelles Wars, preferred Pera Palace Hotel to stay on their way back from the front. Finally, room 101 began to house the idea of the Republic, born from the sleepless nights of a patriotic commander, because Mustafa Kemal used this room for important decisions that will determine the country’s fate and hosted his guests in private meetings.

 

Mysterious Gift from the Indian Maharaja

After the proclamation of the Republic, Atatürk did not abandon Pera Palace. He continued to use the hotel room 101 to receive guests from abroad alongside Dolmabahçe Palace.

In 1929, an unknown Indian Maharaja wanted to meet with Atatürk. According to the rumor, the Maharaja, who received a positive response to the meeting request, desired to give a special gift to Atatürk. The oracle of the maharajah, who was assigned to prepare this gift, preferred a silk-woven carpet, and at the end of the meeting, this carpet was given to Atatürk.

Later, this carpet is sent to room 101 of the Pera Palace Hotel, which has become Atatürk’s home in Istanbul. This ordinary gift, quietly keeping its place in the room, became a mystery in 1938.

 

The Veil of Secret Behind the Mysterious Gift

This carpet, which attracted attention after the Great Leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, has exciting motifs. But, could the rug, with its details revealed when carefully examined, hold a secret? If you wish, let’s try to solve this mystery together by reviewing the motifs on the carpet:

Clock: This Indian rug, which has an exquisite design with silk embroidery, primarily draws attention to the embroidery of a clock. The hour hand points to 9 and the minute hand to 7 in this clock, meticulously woven by handwork.

Elephants: This precious carpet is adorned with elephant motifs positioned to represent mourning according to Indian mythology. Similarly, the birds in the upper left and right corners of the clock stand with their wings closed. Again, according to Indian mythology, this image means restriction of freedom.

Flowers: In addition to all these motifs, a chrysanthemum embroidery dominates the entire carpet. The Chrysanthemum flower, which has become the symbol of mystical concepts, is generally associated with sadness. Therefore, the Chrysanthemum, known as the flower of death in many cultures, is often preferred in funeral ceremonies. In addition, this flower, which is unique with its name, suddenly blooms in November.

Candlesticks: The carpet, whose decorations are generally concentrated on the upper part, also contains a candlestick symbol. Just below the clockwork, there are ten candlestick motifs embroidered towards the middle of the carpet. Candlesticks, with their number associated with the chrysanthemum symbol, can be considered to indicate the date of November 10.

 

You Can Visit Room 101 as a Museum

Although the mystery of this gift for more than 90 years has not been solved, room 101 awaits you, our valued visitors. You can visit Pera Palace Hotel to see this carpet, which is believed to symbolize the mourning in the heart of a whole nation and all the other belongings of Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. While reflecting the magnificence of an era, this dawn-pink room, which bears traces of Atatürk, welcomes its guests every day between 10:00-11:00 and 15:00-16:00.

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