Jerusalem's Old Turkish Prison Opens To Public Briefly

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An old Turkish prison in Jerusalem is briefly opening to the public this weekend, allowing visitors a rare glimpse inside an infamous local landmark. 

The Kishle prison in Jerusalem's Old City was built by the Ottoman Turks in the mid-1800s. It later served the British as a jail, housing Jewish and Arab prisoners in the stormy years leading up to Israel's creation in 1948.

One of those prisoners, Samuel Matza, who was a member of a Jewish underground group as a young man, recalled sleeping on rags on the jail's floor after British police arrested him on weapons charges 64 years ago.

Matza, now 84, said Friday he hoped to visit the building again.

The old lockup has remained closed because of a lack of funds for restoration and refurbishment. It will open on Saturday for three weeks, having been temporarily transformed into a concert space for a visiting troupe of Swedish musicians... 

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