(The) or The Sublime Porte. The Ottoman Empire. In the Byzantine Empire, the gates of the palace were the place of assembly for judicial and legal administration. The word sublime is French for “lofty,” and the term was adopted naturally, as French has long been the language of diplomacy. The whole building contains four Turkish departments of state- viz. (1) the Grand Vizierat; (2) the Foreign Office; (3) the Interior; and (4) the State Council.
“The government is to blame for not having done all in its power, like the Porte.” —The Times.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894