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CHP deputy not allowed to make prison visits

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Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) İstanbul deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu has not been permitted to visit any prisons in Turkey since his last visit almost a month ago, the Evrensel daily reported on Tuesday.

The last time Tanrıkulu visited jailed journalists and executives from the Cumhuriyet daily in Silivri Prison was 25 days ago. Since then, he has not been given permission by the Justice Ministry to make any prison visits. Tanrıkulu said the ministry did not respond to his requests to visit jailed journalists, deputies and activists, while other CHP deputies did not experience any problems before their visits.

“This attitude towards me is totally aimed at isolating people whose voices I am trying to raise and shows [a biased] attitude towards deputies,” said Tanrıkulu.

“A deputy should be able to do this without permission. The fact that they are prohibiting a deputy from visiting prisons shows the level to which anti-democratic practices have reached. What does a government that does this to a deputy do to its citizens?” he added.

Tanrıkulu also called on the government to make a statement about the situation.
Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies also have not been allowed to visit HDP deputies under arrest. Since July 2015, 500 requests from HDP deputies for prison visits have gone unanswered.

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