Arrested Gülenist suspects barred from having private time with spouses in jail
ANKARASuspects arrested over being members of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), widely believed to have been behind the July, 2016 failed coup attempt, have been banned from using “pink rooms” in jails, which are given to inmates to spend time with their spouses in private.
The issue was brought to attention after thousands of FETÖ convicts asked authorities to use the room but were rejected due to “security reasons,” daily Habertürk reported on Feb. 8. Authorities have rejected the demands on the grounds that the convicts could engage in organizational conversations and have contact with the group’s members outside.
According to data from the Justice Ministry, some 205,000 people were arrested after the thwarted coup for different reasons. Since then, 45,500 FETÖ members, 9,283 militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and 750 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants were arrested.
The laws state that even if suspects were arrested over terror charges, rewards can be given to those who showed “good conduct.” The “pink room” is among those rewards.
The law was introduced in 2013 which ruled that inmates would be given a private room each to meet their spouses and families if they did not have a disciplinary penalty.
Thousands of applications to use the “pink room” have been made every day. Those eligible to use the rooms are permitted to meet their spouses once in three months at most and once every month at least without guard watch or technical surveillance between three to 24 hours. There are no cameras or listening devices in the rooms.
This is the first time the “pink rooms” have been restricted since it was introduced. According to officials, the move is an extraordinary precaution taken after the foiled coup.