Merve Bedir, Alican İnal, 2015
“Kumkapı is a touristic neighbourhood of Istanbul. There is a hotel, a fish restaurant and a guesthouse. If you go down the street, you see drug dealers, illegal traders. It’s a strange place, Kumkapı. There are Africans, Syrians, Central Asians. A church, a mosque. They say don’t go to Zeytinburnu, Tarlabaşı, Kumkapı in Istanbul. A weird place here.”
Turkish Department of Security, Kumkapı Foreigners Guesthouse was opened on 3 April 2007, at Muhsine Hatun, Çifte Gelinler Street no. 29, Kumkapı, Istanbul. The building is 2nd degree historical heritage, converted from a former court building and located on the same street with Armenian Patriarchate.
The guesthouse’s garden includes police cars and children’s slides. This garden and all the rest about the guesthouse are separated from the outside World by a high wall. This wall is the only visible element of the building to the outsider. More about the inside, the illnesses, deaths and human rights violations can be read in newspapers and reports, once in a while.
In 2010, with pressure from the European Human Rights Court, the ‘facility’ was renamed as Kumkapı Detention and Removal Center.
Guesthouse visualizes existing news and documents about this detention center by sketches and drawings, and models the building through witnesses experiences, which eventually reveal the anatomy of the building.