ISKENDER SAYEK HOUSE OF CULTURE
ARSUZ HATAY TURKEY
UPDATE: Iskender Sayek House of Culture has been unfortunately severely damaged at the Kahramanmaraş Earthquake in February 2023 and needs full reconstruction.
The Iskender Sayek House of Culture is one of the last surviving courtyard houses with Arsuz architecture.
These old houses, which stand out with their masonry walls, wooden ceilings and wooden shutters, are the most important reflections of Arsuz’ socio-cultural life.
Built by Iskender Sayek in the 1890s, the house was used as a family home until the 1980s. The Iskender Sayek House of Culture, which was restored in accordance with its original form in 2005, was dedicated to the description and preservation of life and culture in Arsuz.
The courtyard is decorated with a traditional fountain pool and trees, mostly citrus, which provide a much welcome shade on hot summer days. The trees still bear flavourful fruit to this day.
Opposite the two-storey main building, where the living room, living room and bedrooms are located, there is a single-storey building with the kitchen, supply room, bathroom and warehouse. The second floor of the main building features a wooden balcony that overlooks the courtyard, and gives access to the three interconnected bedrooms.
All rooms of the Iskender Sayek House of Culture are currently used as exhibition spaces. On the ground floor of the main building, the furniture or accessories used in the past remain as they are, to testify to Arsuz’s old ways. In the warehouse, which stands in the opposite building, the collection of Iskender Sayek’s old agricultural tools is exhibited, informing the public about agricultural tradition in Arsuz from past to present. In the same building, the kitchen hosts one of the permanent exhibitions, “My Teta's Kitchen”, (my grandmother’s kitchen) which describes the old kitchen setup and pays tribute to the unique cuisine of the region.
As the Füsun Sayek Association for the Development of Health and Education, we work on the preservation of Arsuz's cultural heritage, with its unique characteristics, and on the transfer and promotion of the culture of our region to future generations.