Air defense systems set up in three prisons in Turkey
ANKARAAir defense systems with anti-aircraft weapons have been set up in three prisons in Turkey as a part of the precautions in jails after the failed July 15 coup attempt. The weapons were placed in Sincan Prison in Ankara, Şakran Prison in the western province of İzmir and Silivri Prison in Istanbul, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
The Justice Ministry investigated the current situation regarding security measures at 387 open and closed prisons with the Gendarmerie General Command. As a result of the evaluations, it was determined that the outdoor security in the aforementioned three prisons should be enhanced as they held followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, widely believed to have orchestrated the thwarted coup.
Internal security measures were also improved, with a change in the guard duty system. As a part of the new system, the number of guards in the areas housing members of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) and the number of personnel investigating the security cameras was increased.
With the new regulation, convicts serving their prison sentences in single cells will always go outside with the same person and never for less than an hour. Police will also accompany the gendarmerie in the transfer of some convicts in order to further increase security.
Justice Ministry General Directorate of Prisons and Detention Houses General Manager Enis Yavuz Yıldırım said some 7,500 personnel will start their duties before the end of 2016, in line with the changes.
“Precautions to protect convicts against internal and external threats are being taken,” Yıldırım said.
Previous reports had suggested that Gülen-linked suspects were making plans to escape prisons via initiating prison uprisings. One report from Sincan Prison claimed that 5,544 FETÖ suspects planned an uprising, citing encrypted messages and maps made of the prison.
The authorities had sent an emergency notice in order for precautions to be taken upon finding escape route maps and the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutors Office launched an investigation.
The report was shared with the relevant authorities and the number of personnel was subsequently increased.