Justice Ministry releases contradictory figures on numbers jailed in Turkey
REUTERS photoThe Justice Ministry recently announced two different figures for the number of prisoners in Turkish jails as of June 15, daily Cumhuriyet reported on Sept. 19.
The ministry’s first response was based on National Judiciary Informatics System (UYAP) data, after main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Murat Emir put in a request on Aug. 7.
The answer that the ministry gave via the Prime Ministry Coordination Center (BİMER) indicated that there were 224,878 prisoners in jails as of June 15, of whom 85,105 were in jail pending trial and the rest were serving their time after being sentenced.
However, four days after the release of this figure, CHP deputy Gamze Akkuş İlgezdi addressed the same question to the ministry, receiving the answer 223,451, which is 1,427 lower than the figure given to Murat Emir.
According to the Justice Ministry, the number of jailed people in Turkey has increased by around 275 percent in the last 15 years, Cumhuriyet reported.
CHP deputy İlgezdi said that between 2002 and June 2007, the number of people serving sentences in jails increased by 303 percent, while there was a 246 percent increase in the number of people jailed trial.
İlgezdi noted that the increase between January and June this year was 11 percent, also drawing attention to the increase in the number of child prisoners.
She said the number of child prisoners was 2,045 in 2002 but this figure increased to 2,791 as of June 15 of this year, corresponding to a 37 percent increase.
As for the number of female prisoners, the figure was 2,108 at the end of 2002, while it increased to 9,708 as of June 15 of this year, corresponding to an increase of 360 percent in the last 15 years.