Partial amnesty to make room for newcomers
According to the most recent data, there are roughly 16,000 people arrested, about 6,000 people detained and 7,600 people freed on parole.
This is the approximate outcome of the coup attempt investigation. However, there is another dimension we have not talked about and which is not seen. Where are so many people being accommodated?
The prisons are packed. It was January when I wrote that their capacities were definite; there is a limited number of people who can be accommodated simultaneously. The arrested and the detainees cannot be packed like sardines. It was months ago that the limit was very close.
If you add just 565 convicts to the current figure, then our prisons would be over capacity. As of Jan. 13, there were 179,611 people “inside.”
The total capacity was 180,176. These are the figures presented by the Justice Ministry to the Parliamentary Human Rights Research sub-commission. In other words, six months ago, we had only 565 places left in our prisons and correction facilities.
In the meantime, as far as I have monitored, no extra releases have happened. It is a mystery how so many suspects are going to be accommodated without mass releases. It is not sustainable to pack them on top of each other. For the accommodation problem, you have to choose one of two options: you will either rapidly finish the construction and incorporation of new prisons, increasing the capacity, or you will find a way to vacate the prisons while you are filling them.
I believe the capacity problem in prisons has become as urgent as never before. You cannot hold 16,000 people in places good for 565 people; moreover, it is not definite where this figure will stop at.
I am sure the Justice Ministry’s General Directorate of Prisons and Detention Houses is thinking desperately now. I would not want to raise false hopes. Not that I know of anything, as officials do not leak any information, and I am only thinking loud, but this business could reach all the way to a partial amnesty for certain crimes.
At least, this is an option that is before the decision makers. The necessity to act rapidly is also apparent. The only thing I can say at this stage is that even if it would be for a short time, whatever decision will be made should be publicly debated and digested.
AYM dedicated to democracy
Did you read the detailed ruling of the Constitutional Court (AYM) about the expulsion of two of its members? I read it and while I was reading, these thoughts crossed my mind: Let us see what those who questioned the local and national features of the high court because they did not like certain recent rulings will say now.
The high court was a parallel structure; it was treacherous. The AYM was declared an enemy of the regime and it should have immediately been abolished, some said.
I had insistently argued that the AYM was acknowledged and respected and that it should not give up being the assurance of law.
Personally, I have seen that I was correct in trusting the AYM. It announced a decision that cannot be objected to, even by international legal institutions that grumble against the investigations on the attempted coup and the “Fethullahist Terrorist Organization” (FETÖ) as well as the state of emergency. The text of the justification is like a manifesto.
I hope whoever has read it has comprehended the significance of maintaining impartial courts.
We have a Constitutional Court whose rulings would also be acknowledged without a murmur by the European Court of Human Rights and the Supreme Court of the United States, how nice.
The AYM has defended the democratic regime, accusing those involved in the coup attempt of extortion.
There could not have been a more effective reply to silence those in the European Union and the United States who have suspicions about the state of emergency.
Congratulations, and I am proud that we have such a Constitutional Court.