498 arrested and convicted ISIL members in Turkish prisons: Justice Ministry
ANKARAThere were 498 arrested and convicted Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) members in Turkish prisons as of February, the Justice Ministry has stated.
Responding to a parliamentary question submitted by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Gamze Akkuş İlgezdi, the ministry said 470 of the ISIL members in prisons were under arrest, while the other 28 were convicted. ISIL suspects and convicts make up 64 percent of the foreigners in jail on terror charges in Turkey.
The ministry also stated that 15 foreign children between the age of 12 and 17 were under arrest on charges of being a member of the jihadist group.
Some 70 ISIL suspects and convicts were between the age of 18 and 21, with 65 of them arrested and five convicted. There were a total of 413 ISIL members over the age of 21, with 390 arrested and 23 convicted.
Overall, there are a total of 4,704 foreign-origin arrested and convicted people in Turkish prisons, amounting to around 2 percent of all those in prisons in Turkey, according to this year’s data.
There are a total of 197,297 arrested and convicted people in Turkish prisons, according to figures announced in November 2016.
There were 1,880 arrested and convicted foreigners from 158 different nationalities in 2009, while in 2017 the same figure was 4,704, with 2,204 convicted and 2,500 arrested. The number of foreign-origin people arrested and convicted increased 150 percent in eight years, the ministry stated.
Overall, while there were a total of 40 convicts on terror charges in Turkish prisons in 2009, the number was 775 in 2017, a whopping 1,837 percent increase, according to the ministry.
The figures show that 16 percent of foreigners in Turkish prisons were convicted on terror charges as of 2017.
The number of arrested foreigners in Turkish prisons was 23 in 2009, while it was 633 in 2017, marking a 2,652 percent rise, the ministry stated.
Commenting on the figures, Akkuş İlgezdi said the numbers proved that Turkey had turned into a “crime heaven.”
“Unfortunately, our deteriorating relationship with our border neighbors, the chaos happening in our region, and the fact that we have become a base in human trafficking, have turned Turkey into a crime heaven. Those figures show that Turkey has turned into an open prison, not only for its own citizens but for foreigners,” she added.