AKP deputy justifies transfer of prisoners in southeastern provinces to distant cities
ANKARAThere’s no problem in transferring prisoners in southeastern Turkey to prisons in western cities that are hundreds of kilometers away from their families, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Diyarbakır lawmaker Oya Eronat has said, indicating that it is a just treatment.
“Prisoners were transferred to prisons in western cities after a group of prisoners escaped from Bingöl prison [on Sept. 25]; one of them being the killer of my son. [Seeing that]I’ve been distanced from my son for six years, only being able visit him at his grave, let them [the prisoners] too be distanced from their families,” Eronat said on Nov. 28 during a session of the Parliament’s Human Rights Inquiry Commission.
The parliamentary panel discussed a report on the conditions of Adana and Mersin penitentiaries during Thursday’s meeting. In the course of the debates, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker Mahmut Tanal criticized the Justice Ministry’s practice of transferring prisoners to prisons in western cities, noting that their families are not able to visit them since they are living hundreds of kilometers away.
Eronat, taking the floor after Tanal, said that there’s nothing to criticize over the transfer of prisoners and said that the reason for the prisoners’ transfer was the succesful attempt escape of prisoners from Bingöl prison.
Eighteen prisoners, who were imprisoned over alleged links with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), had escaped from the jail in Bingöl early morning on Sept. 25, through an 80-meter tunnel that had been dug from two wards. Seventeen of them were captured on the following day.
One of the captured PKK-member fugitives, O.A., was convicted over a bomb attack in 2008 that killed seven, including the 17-year-old son of AKP’s Eronat.
When Tanal told Eronat that it’s not right to make the issue personal, Eronat said that it’s normal for her to personalize the issue. “Of course I’ll make it personal. If I can only visit my son at his grave, then some prisoners should also remain distant from their families,” she responded.
Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş on Nov. 19 claimed that over 300 prisoners from Diyarbakır, Batman and Siirt prisons were sent to prisons in western cities.