In the Yalova region, the settlement of which dates to 3000 BC, traces of the Hittites in the 2000s and the Phrygians in the 1200s can be observed. The discovery of hot springs and the construction of the baths and spa buildings is dated to the Roman and Byzantine Periods. The region which came under the control of Osmanoğulları in 1302 is known as "Cihannümâ Hot Springs". Being popular and visited for therapeutic purposes in almost every period, Yalova thermal region became a rest and spa center for both the people as well as the Sultan and his family. Bezm-i Alem Valide Sultan, the mother of Sultan Abdulmejid, also stayed here for a while for treatment purposes during her illness, and a mansion and a bathhouse, were built for her, which did not survive until today. During the reign of Sultan Abdulhamid II, the thermal springs were overhauled and new buildings, especially hotels and restaurants, were built. As well as the wooden building and the cinema-cafeteria which were used as the Auxiliary Mansion in the Republican Period, The General Secretariat building which is used as a social facility today belongs to this period. Facilities which were renovated and expanded at the end of the 19th century was run by foreign investors for a while during the Second Constitutional Monarchy Era. The region, which was relinquished until Atatürk's visit to Termal in 1929, started to become the center of attention again with the Atatürk Mansion built here in the same year.
Construction of The Atatürk Mansion
The mansion, the construction of which was done by the Seyr-i Sefâin Administration, is located on an area of 425 m2 and was completed in 38 days. It was first known as "Reis-i Cumhur Mansion" and later as "Atatürk Mansion". The mansion, which is among the early examples of Turkish civil architecture in the Republican Period, has a rectangular wooden structure close to a square. It has four floors with a basement and an attic, consisting of four halls, seventeen rooms and four bathrooms. There is no kitchen in the mansion as a measure against any possible fire.
Its garden is in a certain order connected with the woods. There are perennial trees such as sequoia, tall thuja, linden, hornbeam, stemmed oak, yellow pine, weeping pine, and palm in it.
The entrance of the mansion is connected to the Hall of Honor by a hall. From the hall, it can be passed through the two doors on the left to the great hall used for dining and meeting purposes. The painting in the Entrance Hall belongs to one of the Republican Period painters, Nurettin Niyazi (Ergüven). Two symmetrically placed Japanese Arita vases are among the other eye-catching works in this place.
Hall of Honor hosted long table talks about important decisions and state affairs during Atatürk's lifetime. It has a large marble-covered terrace where lunches are eaten, and coffee is drunk during the summer months. While antelope skin chairs for 20 people indicate the importance of the hall, the billiard table in the hall was brought from Dolmabahçe Palace. The radio located at the exit of the hall is a product of the America-based brand, R.C.A.
At the rest of the corridor, there is a service elevator that completes the service and servant rooms and the Dining Hall. The section that opens to the corridor on the right of the entrance and has two interconnecting rooms and a bathroom belongs to Atatürk's sister Makbule Hanım. At the top of the stairway that connects to the upper floor, there is a brass bowl with a carved pedestal made of ebony wood brought from Egypt during the Ottoman Period.
Atatürk's study, rest, living room and bathroom are located on the first floor of the mansion. The rooms and bathrooms used by Atatürk's adopted daughters Afet Inan, Sabiha Gökçen, Rukiye Erkin and Zehra Aylin are also on this floor. Surrounded by three corridors leading to the rooms, the hall serves as a meeting place suitable for common use for the residents of the mansion, as well as a reception place for nearby guests.
The mansion was furnished with furniture selected from the palaces and mansions affiliated with the Directorate of National Palaces while its furnishings were obtained from a few stores in Beyoğlu, Istanbul.
As a Museum House
After its construction was completed in 1930, it was included in the Directorate of National Palaces by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk with the decree dated July 24, 1930, to be protected as the property of the nation. As a place where foreign guests were hosted and where some important decisions in the history of the Republic were taken and planned for many years, the Presidential Mansion has great significance. The building was registered as a cultural property to be protected with law no 14971 dated May 15, 1983. It was restored in 2008-2012 and today serves as a Museum House open to the public under the administration of the Turkish Grand National Assembly.