Prison overcrowding in Turkey reaches severe levels


CHP Deputy Chair and Malatya MP Veli Ağbaba has reminded that they have prepared numerous reports within the scope of Prison Monitoring and Evaluation Commission and added: “While it had been known even before July 15 that the capacity of the prisons has been exceeded in a way where prisoners were forced to sleep at halls and in front of bathrooms, with around 10,000 more arrests related to the investigations on the coup attempt, the situation is now going to get much worse. I have made visits to hundreds of prisons all across Turkey for the past five years and I have talked to thousands of inmates. One of the most striking points we have observed during these visits was the fact that inmates had to sleep on beds by taking turns and could barely breathe. Not only inside the cells but also even during the times spent outdoors they could not find a spot to step into.”

‘Our proposal has now become an obligation’

Noting on the worsening conditions at the prisons following the arrests conducted in relation to the coup attempt of July 15, Ağbaba brought up the proposal again for the extension of probation time to two years. He said: “We receive lots of phone calls and letters telling about addition of new beds in some prisons. In that case, it seems like the inmates will have to walk over the beds as there will be no place left on the floor to step on. The severity of the crowding in prisons is not something that could be overcome by adding more beds. This situation will cause inmates to go through serious health complications. For the past three terms, I have been submitting my proposal for the extension of probation time to two years in order to bring about a solution of the problem at hand. Following the arrests related to July 15, our proposal has become even more significant and obligatory. To avoid people from getting into even more miserable situations and to resolve this issue, which has now become a violation of human rights, the probation time must be extended to two years.”


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