A total of 560 children under the age of 6 are being held in Turkish prisons along with their mothers, according to Turkey’s Justice Ministry.
Responding to a parliamentary question from main opposition Republican Peoples’ Party (CHP) deputy Gamze İlgezdi, the ministry said the number of children staying with their mothers behind bars had reached 560 as of April.
Children are taken to prison in the absence of family members to look after them. The Turkish government has launched a sweeping crackdown across the country, detaining more than 140,000 and jailing some 50,000 over alleged or real links to a July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
It has become a common occurrence that both parents are taken into custody, leaving no one to care for the children. The Turkish government, on many occasions, has detained pregnant women as well.
Out of the 560, 114 are aged between 0 and 12 months; 128 children are 1 year old; 114 children are 2 years old; 81 children, 3 years old; 70 children, 4 years old; 31 children, 5 years old; and five are 6 years old. The ages of the remaining 17 are unknown, the ministry said.
According to official data, 291 children who are with their imprisoned mothers are boys and 269 are girls. (TurkeyPurge)