İpek Düben

The transformation of the Sinop Prison into a cultural center created an opportunity to bring back to life by artistic means the memory of some of the prisoners who had been sentenced for political and intellectual reasons. I wanted children to give expression to the ‘punishable’ ideals and critical ideas of the prisoners, which are expressed with great sincerity in their poems, memoirs and children’s plays and novels. During the production of the video I was able to discuss with the children between the ages of 9 and 12 the lives and ideas of Refik Halit Karay, Sebahattin Ali, Kerim Korcan and Osman Deniz. The children were interested in hearing about those utopias, dreams and criticisms and showed great depth of feeling and ability in expressing those ideas in their paintings, play acting and citations of sections from poems and memoirs. The best part was the great fun we all had.

1.“CAPON”, Kerim Korcan Selections from a children’s novel

He was imprisoned because of his involvement in the political events of the Military Academy. In 1938 he spent 10 years in the Sinop Prison. He is the author of memoirs, children’s novels and short stories.

2.“MORNING IN THE CHICKEN COOP” -1926 (selections from poems)

THE WIND -1946 (selections from poems)

THE CREEK -1927 (selections from poems)

THE FROGS – 1931 (selections from his memoirs)

Sebahattin Ali was arrested in 1932 and served his sentence during 26 December 26 1932-29 October 1933 in Konya and Sinop prisons.

He has written poems, short stories, novels and plays for children and adults.

Refik Halit Karay was exiled out of Istanbul because of his opposition to the Committee of Union and Progress. He spent his life in Sinop, Corum, Ankara and Bilecik during 1913 and 1918. He has written novels, stories and memoirs.


Osman Deniz. Selections from his memoir “Password: Military Officer Cannot Be Cheated”.

He has attended important political activities. He is one of the major leaders of the Talat Aydemir movement. He was forced to retire from the military when serving as a lieutenant colonel because of his involvement on the opposition movement of February 22, 1962. He led the events of May 21, 1963 and consequently was sentenced to death. His sentence was changed to life imprisonment and he was sent to prison in Sinop in June 26, 1964. He was discharged with the general pardon in 1974.