58,500 arrestees, convicts to wear single-type uniform before courts in Turkey
A decree numbered 696 has made it compulsory for 6,800 arrestees and convicts to wear dried-almond colored uniforms for participation in last year’s coup attempt, while the remaining 51,700 are obliged to wear gray uniforms for being a member of or directing a terrorist organization, as well as other terror-related crimes.
Turkey declared a state of emergency after the July 15, 2016, coup attempt, widely believed to have been masterminded by the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen and has been issuing decrees ever since.
While the changes encompass a wide range of areas, one of the most debated regulations concerned the introduction of single-type court attire, with the opposition voicing concerns over the practice.
The recent decree stipulates all suspects charged with certain crimes against the constitution, the state, the parliament and the government shall be brought to court in a uniform of a specific color.
The move was initiated after an alleged member of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) had appeared before the court with a t-shirt that said “Hero” on it.
The 58,500 convicts and arrestees include those serving over coup-related crimes, members or managers of FETÖ, the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Those who have been arrested or convicted for “crimes against the constitutional order and the functioning of this order,” which include staging a coup attempt and “assassination of the president,” will wear dried almond colored jumpsuits.
Within this framework, a total of 6,800 individuals will appear before court in the aforementioned jumpsuits for involvement in the July 2016 thwarted coup.
A total of 51,700 convicts and arrestees will wear gray jumpsuits for several crimes, including “forming an armed terrorist organization,” “being a member of an armed terrorist organization” and “providing arms for organizations.”
The 51,700 individuals also include those providing financial support to certain organizations.
Hence, those being tried for membership in FETÖ will wear gray jumpsuits. Suspected PKK, DHKP-C and ISIL militants will also be obliged to wear gray jumpsuits during hearings.
Meanwhile, the Justice Ministry has begun efforts to introduce the regulation that needs to be issued within a month since the state of emergency decree had been published in the Official Gazette. The regulation is also necessary for the uniform amendments to go into effect.
The regulations that will determine the shape of the uniforms that female convicts and arrestees will wear will also go into effect after ministerial efforts.
The “single-type court attire” practice can only be executed after the regulation goes into effect.
The convicts and arrestees will only have to wear these uniforms when they leave prisons to attend hearings.
According to the state of emergency decree, children and pregnant women will be exempt from the practice.