Turkish Palaces Protected with Milestone IP Platform

June 11, 2007
Networked video system used to protect country's historical treasures

COPENHAGEN – 7 June 2007. The Department of National Palaces in Turkey has installed the first in a series of new security systems using Milestone open platform IP video management software and Axis network cameras. The advanced solution provides an effective yet discreet implementation to protect the historical architecture, and the ability to easily expand in future. Integration of the video surveillance with access control and fire alarms is also planned.

One million tourists from all over the globe annually come to visit the palatial treasures of Turkey. The Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul is a main attraction, requiring 1,000 staff to run and maintain it - half of whom are temporary. It is a challenge to monitor the access and passage of so many people throughout such a large, important property, in order to protect and preserve the historical buildings and irreplaceable artifacts.

The answer is an IP network-based security system implemented in the Dolmabahce, the first of 12 palaces to get the new solution. Here, Milestone XProtect Enterprise IP video software is managing over 200 Axis surveillance cameras. The open platform of the solution also allows integration of the video system with fire detection and access control systems in the future.

"I did a lot of research before taking the decision that IP was the way to go, and Milestone Systems has an open platform that gives us the long-term flexibility and scalability to get the most for the government's investment: the national funds for this have to be spent with the greatest concern and vision," says Rustem Coskun, IT Manager for the Department of National Palaces of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. "Dolmabahce is a very big palace with visitors from all over the world, which brings security risks like vandalism. About 80% of our problems are internal, however. Things may not happen often but with irreplaceable national treasures, even once is too much."

The majestic architecture of the Dolmabahce Palace covers over 110,000 square meters including all the connected buildings with state apartments, offices, and the imperial harem. The main edifice has 285 rooms, 46 galleries, 6 Turkish baths, and 68 lavatories. Glossy marble columns and steps lead to parquet floors laid with 4,454 square meters of handmade Turkish carpets. The interior is decorated with Ottoman Empire magnificence, reflecting the splendor of Sultans past. The crowning glory is the ceremonial hall: an imposing 2,000 square meters with 56 huge columns, a dome 36 meters high and a central chandelier weighing 4.5 tons.

Discreet installation for historical buildings

The network cabling took several months in order not to damage any of the building’s precious architecture, ceilings or floors. They used Power-Over-Ethernet cameras from Axis that are much easier to install without the need for cable to be run to such hard-to-reach places as the high balconies of the Ceremonial Hall.

The Dolmabahce Palace security is now under full control. Live video viewing, both centrally and remotely, allows for the fastest response to any incidences; easy searching and export of recorded evidence provides resolution of matters internally, with the police, or insurance companies. Best of all, the open platform of Milestone IP video software ensures an optimal return on investment for national funds, as integration with access control, fire alarms, and future technologies bring valuable interoperability and expansion capabilities.