Protecting the Twelve Palaces of Turkey

12 Palaces of Turkey

The open platform of the solution allows integration of the video system with a fire detection system, access control, and analytics.

Preserving National Treasures

Each year, one million tourists from all over the globe come to visit the 12 palaces of Turkey. The Dolmabahce Palace, located in the center of Istanbul, is run and maintained by a staff of 1,000. This majestic palace covers over 110,000 square meters including all the connected buildings such as state apartments and offices, a huge ceremonial hall, and the imperial harem. The main palace edifice has 285 small rooms, 46 large reception rooms and galleries, six Turkish baths, and 68 lavatories. The interior rooms and entrance salon hold priceless porcelain, paintings, and handcrafted fine art.

Rustem Coskun, IT Manager for the Department of National Palaces in Turkey, manages all 12 of the country's historical palaces. When tasked with choosing a security system to protect the palaces, Coskun took a deep dive into the market and ultimately decided on an integrated system comprised of the S2 NetBox IP-Based Security System, Milestone XProtect Enterprise IP Video Software and Axis cameras.

“I did a lot of research before taking the decision to go IP with our security,” recalls Coskun. “It was soon clear that IP was the way to go. Milestone Systems coupled with the S2 NetBox provides an open platform that gives us the longterm flexibility and scalability to get the most for the government's investment.”

“Dolmabahce is a very big palace with visitors from all over the world, which brings security risks like vandalism,” adds Coskun. “This kind of thing may only happen once a year, if that – but with irreplaceable national treasures, once is too much.”

“We also have about 1,000 workers around the buildings and property,” explains Coskun. “About 80% of our security problems are internal.”


Testing and Implementation

Systems integrator Baglan worked with security dealer BIMSA to implement the integrated solution. Necdet Kabil, President of Baglan comments: “Rustem Coskun is focused on longterm future-proof investments. He did site surveys of the palaces and calculated the purchase and operational costs versus the performance, flexibility and scalability, to come to the decision for IP video surveillance and access control. He had evaluated every offering in the market. Because he had done so much work in the planning, the decision to use Milestone, Axis and S2 was easy. They are the leaders in IP video software, network cameras and IP-based integrated security management.”

“I set up trial versions of Milestone, Axis and S2, testing different CPUs and cameras, calculating image resolutions, bandwidth usage, everything required to make the optimal security system,” says Coskun. “At the end of all this work, I could confirm that Milestone-Axis-S2 was the best solution. We are very happy now because we have no problems with it; it is working very well.”


Open Platforms Support Integration

Integration of the S2 Security system and Milestone IP video management software ensures that all access control points throughout the property are connected to the surveillance video that can trigger recordings of every person passing in and out and mark them by date and time. The fire alarm system has also been integrated with the Milestone-Axis-S2 solution.

“We know that everything inside the palace and around the property is secure, monitoring it with Milestone XProtect Enterprise, the S2 NetBox and Axis network cameras,” Coskun says.

We can watch everything live on the integrated system, and search in the archived video database to find anything that may have happened, marked by date and time, recorded based on motion detection.

The palace’s 200 security personnel include soldiers, guards, and office staff. Twelve of these operate the integrated Milestone-S2 system, mostly using a central security control room as the main monitoring station.

The outer gate to the palace is guarded by soldiers and all visitors must enter through a single passageway where bags are checked. The grand entrance portal further inside the property also has guards posted in official uniforms, near the access control system barriers each person must pass through.

“With the Milestone-S2 system, security people are alerted if there is motion detected somewhere no one is supposed to be,” adds Coskun. “They have wireless connections and call the palace manager who can only open and close the palace during off-hours with signed and sealed papers. We can watch every person who enters the palace grounds from the first gate, through the gardens, in and out of every building, at the cafes - we know exactly where everyone is the entire time they are here.”


Success Drives Expansion

Following the success of the Dolmabahce deployment, the remaining 11 palaces were each fitted with the integrated system. Today, Rustem Coskun can access the system for all 11 palaces remotely, from any location, via the S2 system’s web-browser based interface. This is particularly useful as he travels from palace to palace or to government headquarters.

With the Milestone-Axis-S2 system, the minimum of personnel are required to achieve the maximum security with advanced software functionality,” concludes Coskun. “We are very happy with this solution.