HDP deputy: Prison population in Turkey increased by 100 percent in past 6 years

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HDP deputy Ertuğrul Kürkçü

A deputy from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Ertuğrul Kürkçü, has complained about overcrowding in Turkey’s prisons, saying that the country’s prison population has increased by 100 percent over the past six years.

Speaking in Parliament on Friday, Kürkçü said: “The number of convicts and detainees, which was 128,604 in 2011, had risen to 228,993 as of the end of 2017. Turkey’s population increased by 10 percent during this time, while the prison population rose by 100 percent. We are faced with a nonsense situation.”

The prison population in Turkey has particularly increased in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt in the country on July 15, 2016 following which the Turkish government launched a mass wave of arrests of people from all walks of life on coup charges. Around 50,000 people have been jailed on coup charges since the putsch.

In his speech Kürkçü also talked about the rights violations in Turkish prisons and said there are 1,154 ill people, 402 of whom are in critical condition, in the prisons. He also said there are 700 children who are growing up in jail with their mothers.

The HDP deputy said given the fact that the bed capacity of the prisons is 208,830, there are no beds in prisons for 20,000 convicts and detainees; hence, they use beds in turn. He said this situation goes against human dignity.

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