Ulucanlar Prison Museum

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The Ulucanlar Jail Museum is a former state prison in Ankara, Turkey, that was restored and turned into a prison museum by Altnda Municipality. The Museum first opened its doors to public in 2011. It is Turkey's first Museum of its kind. Ulucanlar Prison was founded in 1925 in the Ulucanlar suburb of Ankara's Altnda district, which had recently become the Turkish Republic's new capital. 

These prisons were officially classified into three security levels: closed (Turkish: Kapal), semi-open (Turkish: yar açk), and open (Turkish: açk). Closed prisons were maximum-security facilities with external and internal control that housed violent inmates and those deemed most likely to elude capture. Semi-open prisons were medium-security correctional establishments with no external control but only internal physical barriers that accommodated offenders with a moderate risk of escaping while working. Open prisons were low-security, work-oriented prison camps with no external control and internal physical walls that housed offenders who were permitted to interact with the public on a limited basis. 

During its 81-year history, Ulucanlar Prison housed prominent intellectuals from many political perspectives, such as journalists, poets, writers, professional politicians, political activists, and criminals. 

How to explore the Ulucanlar Prison Museum?

  • The Ninth and Tenth Wards are located near the Museum's entrance and were designated 'Hilton Ward' because of their small size and relative comfort. Prominent politicians such as Bülent Ecevit and Osman Bölükbaş have been detained in these wards, where their biographies are displayed on the bunk beds.
  • Twenty-two wax sculptures show inmates in various postures in their daily jail lives in the isolation cells and the Fourth Ward.
  • Biographies of noteworthy inmates are taped to the bunk beds in the Fifth Ward. 
  • Sixth Ward has personal belongings of noteworthy inmates, such as watches, cigarettes, walking sticks, plates, glasses, teapots, and other personal items. 
  • The Turkish bath for the convicts is located in the main yard. 
  • Photographs of renowned convicts adorn the branches of a wish tree in the yard. 
  • There is also an old gallows in the yard, complete with the original hangman's knot. Nineteen executions were conducted there. 
  • Over the existing isolation cells, a particular segregation unit was built where you may be locked for fifteen minutes or one hour to understand the jail circumstances better. You may not exit the cell before your time is over.
  • imageDuration Required
    1 hour

Address of Ulucanlar Prison Museum

Sukriye mah.Ulucanlar cad.Ses sok. No: 63 Ulucanlar Göz hastanesi Yanı, Ankara Turkey

Opening & Closing time of Ulucanlar Prison Museum

  • Monday
  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
  • Friday
  • Saturday
  • Sunday

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