The design includes diverse elements from the Baroque, Rococo, and Neoclassical styles, fused with traditional Ottoman architecture. The palace layout and decor reflect the increasing influence of European styles and standards on Ottoman culture and art during the Tanzimat period (1839-1876). Functionally, however, it retained elements of traditional Ottoman palace life.
Dolmabahçe Palace was home to six sultans from 1856 until the abolition of the Islamic state in 1926. A law that went into effect on March 3, 1926 transferred the ownership of the palace to the national heritage of the new Turkish Republic. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey, used the palace as a presidential residence during the summers and enacted some of his most important works there. He spent his final days at the palace, as his health deteriorated. He died at 9:05 a.m. on November 10, 1938 in a bedroom that is now part of the museum.