Lawyer claims Silivri Prison inmates’ coats taken away despite freezing weather

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Silivri Prison in İstanbul has become a symbol of Turkey, the biggest jailer of journalists around the world. / AFP PHOTO / Yasin AKGUL

Prominent Turkish lawyer Ergin Cinmen has claimed that coats belonging to inmates in İstanbul’s notorious Silivri Prison have been collected by the prison administration and that the inmates can only wear shirts in their cold prison cells, the t24 news website reported on Monday.

In remarks to T24, Cinmen said the coats of the inmates were collected allegedly because of an incident in a prison in the Black Sea province of Giresun where an inmate wore the coat of a relative who came to visit him in prison and fled the prison in his coat.

The lawyer said the heating system in Silivri is not functioning well, so the inmates are having difficulty keeping themselves warm.

Cinmen said he met with two of his clients who are jailed in Silivri during the day and that both of them came to the meeting room with only their shirts on.

When asked about the claimed raised by Cinmen, officials from Turkey’s Justice Ministry told the news website that they have no knowledge of the existence of such a practice at Silivri.

The incident in Giresun took place on Jan. 8, and the inmate who fled the prison was later arrested by the police.

There are thousands of what many call political prisoners in Silivri Prison, which was opened in 2008 and is among the largest prison facilities in Europe.

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