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Following prisoners’ lawyer, US academic warns against staged prison break in Turkey

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Just a day after the lawyer for several political prisoners urged the international community to monitor Turkish prisons amid rumors of prison breaks being staged in order to massacre prisoners, an American academic who correctly predicted a military coup in Turkey prior to July 15 gave a similar warning in a piece published on the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) website on Monday.

Michael Rubin, an analyst for AEI, wrote that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan might use the excuse of a prison uprising in order to launch an operation to crush the revolt and kill the prisoners.

Rubin referred to several Erdoğan-controlled media reports that speculate about such incidents prisons. In addition to reports hinting of “revolts in prisons,” Rubin included from the Sabah daily, a pro-government newspaper, fabricated stories displaying electronic circuit boards as prison break sketches, just as the mainstream news channel NTV had done a week before.

Lawyer Ömer Turanlı has called on human rights organizations and the relevant commissions of the EU to monitor incidents taking place in Turkey’s prisons while expressing grave concerns about the safety of his clients due to claims of staged riots.

In a series of messages from his Twitter account on Sunday, Turanlı, who represents some former police officers and police chiefs who were jailed in mid-2014 for taking part in a massive corruption investigation, wrote: “There are concrete and serious claims about a meeting being held to order opening of gates [of holding cells] in Silivri [prison] and the shooting down of those arrested. … I am calling on human rights organizations and the relevant commissions of the EU to immediately monitor incidents taking place in Turkey’s prisons.”

Rubin, who was among the few who foresaw a military coup attempt in Turkey months before an actual attempt July 15, argues that Erdoğan wants a perpetual crisis to consolidate power. Since the people who fill prisons in today’s Turkey are “educated, Western-oriented intellectuals and bureaucrats, liberals, Kurds, civil society activists, and supporters of exiled cleric Fethullah Gülen,” in Rubin’s words, they are in mortal danger. He further claimed that Erdoğan will employ his special security forces in such a fabricated crisis.

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