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Namik Kemal Dungeon

The rectangular shaped two storey building located in the front yard of the Venetian Palace was named after Namik Kemal, a famous nationalist novelist who was exiled by the Ottoman government to Cyprus in 1873 and spent 38 months in this dungeon. 

Namik Kemal, considered as the Shakespeare of Turkish literature, was born in 1840 and in 1873 he staged his most famous play, Vatan Yahut Silistre (Fatherland or Silistria), a drama centred on the Siege of Silistria, which promoted nationalism and liberalism and was found dangerous by the government, causing him to be sent into exile.

In the beginning, he stayed at the ground floor, a cell not larger than 15 square meters. Later on, he was allowed to move to the first floor, which had relatively better facilities and two large windows. In 1876, Namik Kemal was forgiven by Sultan Murat V and returned to Istanbul. 

The two storey building was later opened as a museum in 1993 and still welcomes visitors from all around the world. 

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