Sixty-nine percent of people in Turkey have stated that they don’t trust the country’s judicial system, while 72 percent say people are imprisoned unjustly in Turkey, according to the results of a survey conducted by the Konda research and polling company, Deutsche Welle Turkish service reported on Thursday.
The survey, titled “Prisons and Prisoners Perception Research,” was conducted between June 18 and 20 on 3,285 people in 68 provinces at the request of the Human Rights Association (İHD).
Out of 3,285 participants, 1.8, 1.2 and 1.2 percent said they had been detained, arrested, and were released under judicial supervision, respectively, while 14, 15 and 10 percent said someone close to them had been detained, arrested and were released under judicial supervision, respectively.
According to the poll, 76 percent of those whose acquaintances had been arrested and 68 percent of those whose acquaintances hadn’t been arrested stated that they don’t trust Turkey’s judicial system, while 57 percent said they thought people in the country were imprisoned because of their thoughts and ideas.
The survey, which stated that sharp differences of opinion between the opposing segments of society in Turkey increased political and social polarization, also showed that the unjust imprisonment of people in the country was one of the most important reasons for distrust of the judicial system, with 72 percent of participants agreeing.
Those who don’t trust the judicial system include 85 percent of the Kurdish and 64 percent of the Turkish participants, the poll results further revealed, adding that 68 percent of the Kurdish participants think Kurds in Turkey face injustices related to the judiciary, while the figure drops to 18 percent among Turkish respondents.
Women are the leading group in Turkey who face injustice related to the judiciary, with 42 percent, followed by journalists, political dissidents, Kurds and Alevis, with 35, 33, 28 and 21 percent, respectively, according to the survey results.
In general, 25 percent of participants said the treatment of prisoners was “bad” or “very bad,” while 17 percent said it was “good” or “very good.” Those who said the treatment of prisoners was “bad” or “very bad” included 76, 60 and 54 percent of those who had been detained, arrested and released under judicial supervision, respectively, while the figure decreased to 38 among those who hadn’t been detained.
Turkey disbarred more than 4,000 judges and prosecutors immediately after an abortive military coup in July 2016 over alleged ties to the Gülen movement, a faith-based group inspired by the teachings of Muslim preacher Fethullah Gülen that focuses on science education, volunteerism, community involvement, social work and interfaith and intercultural dialogue.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) label the movement as a terrorist organization and accuse them of orchestrating the attempted putsch, while the group strongly denies any involvement in the coup bid or any terrorist activities.
The mass disbarment of members of the judiciary is believed by many to have had a chilling effect on the entire justice system, intimidating the remaining judges and prosecutors into doing the government’s bidding by launching politically motivated investigations into critics.