Minister, journalists visit Silivri
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin and a group of journalists leave Silivri Prison. AA photoJustice Minister Sadullah Ergin and a group of journalists on May 11 visited Silivri Prison, where complaints have been made about the physical conditions under which inmates are kept.
Ergin was accompanied by 12 columnists from various papers on the visit, which lasted more than four hours. It was the first time journalists had been allowed inside the facility, where suspects in controversial coup plot cases such as “Sledgehammer” (Balyoz) and Ergenekon are being held.
The physical conditions in the prison are good, but it is unacceptable to keep prisoners alone in dark isolation cells, said Daily Radikal columnist Oral Çalışlar, who participated in the visit. “I was in prison during the coup in Turkey,” Çalışlar told CNNTürk television. “We were kept with 200 people in the same dorm, it was full of dirt. But that was much more humane than living in a dark, isolated cell. The most important thing is not the physical conditions, it to live in a more human, social place where you can feel solidarity between the prisoners.”
Officals are careful to provide inmates with the best possible conditions, said Bülent Korucu, a columnist for daily Zaman. “We asked officials about the prisoners’ complaints. For example I asked them about a complaint Tuncay Özkan [who is under arrest as part of the ongoing Ergenekon probe] had made, saying that his cell was flooded with sewage water. The officials said this was not possible, and that they provide the best conditions they can for those under arrest,” Korucu told Habertürk television.