Turkish-Cypriot Literature
North Cyprus  

Namik Kemal

  Namik KemalNamik Kemal, a distinguished Ottoman era nationalist poet and novelist, sentenced and exiled to Cyprus after his works which were critical of the Sultan and the political regime of the time. 

He spent a thirty-eight months sentence in a dungeon in Famagusta. when he was sent into exile on April 9th 1873 soon after the first performance of his play ‘Vatan Yahut Silistre’ (Motherland or Silistre) at Istanbul’s Gedik Pasha Theatre on April lst 1873.


Dungeon of Namik Kemal

The two-storeyed hewn stone dungeon, Namik Kemal stayed in while he was exiled in FamagustaThe two-storeyed hewn stone dungeon, Namik Kemal stayed in while he was exiled in Famagusta, was built inside the ruins of the old Venetian Palace in Famagusta. The groundfloor, with only one vaulted cell, is in the shape of a rectangle and it has low arched entrance door  which opens on to the courtyard of the Venetian Palace as well as the two windows in the same wall.

When Namik Kemal came to Famagusta, he first stayed on the groundfloor, but after a while he was taken to the second storey with the permission of the Governor of Cyprus, Veysi Pasha.

The steep stone stairs at the side of the building take you to the rectangular second storey which has two large windows, a landing in the front, a marble floor and a timbered ceiling. Upon an amnesty by Sultan Murat V. on June 3rd 1876, Namik Kemal returned to Istanbul on June 29th 1876.

After going through a careful restoration by the Department of Atiquities’ Planning and Restoration Department (in collaboration with the Department of Culture), Namik Kemal Dungeon Museum opened at the beginning of 1993 .


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