Parliamentary report reveals inhumane conditions in Turkish prisons

Parliamentary report reveals inhumane conditions in Turkish prisons

ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
Parliamentary report reveals inhumane conditions in Turkish prisons

DHA Photo

Parliament’s Human Rights Research Commission’s Prisons Subcommittee has released its report on three prisons in the southern province of Antalya, highlighting the inhumane conditions faced by prisoners.

Some of the shocking conditions include food containing insects, beatings, and full body cavity searches. The report also says gay and transsexual inmates in prison “suffer twice as badly for their sexual identities.”

The subcommittee was made up of four deputies from three parties. Konya deputy Ayşe Türkmenoğlu and Adıyaman deputy Mehmet Metiner from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Malatya deputy Veli Ağbaba from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), and Adana deputy Murat Bozlak from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP).

A number of inmates in the Antalya L Type Jail, where 1,600 prisoners are currently serving sentences, are forced to sleep on the floor in front of the toilet doors and stairwells, the report stated.

“Inmates cannot wash their clothes due to water problems and hygiene is a serious problem. The transfer of patients to hospitals is another issue. Gay and transsexual inmates live in the same cells, and they complain about their emotional health. A transvestite said she was feminine at the time she was jailed, but now she is not allowed to be [feminine]. Another inmate said they suffered because of their sexual identities, and said their section was the only area without security cameras,” the report also read.

The biggest matters of complaint are the full body cavity searches and the problem of overcrowded cells, according to the report.

The Antalya E Type Jail, where 1,800 prisoners are being held, is the worst of the three jails inspected, the report stated.

“It was the worst prison that the committee saw. Thirty-six people are staying in rooms with the capacity to hold 25. Inmates find insects in their food, and they eat raw fish,” the report said.

Rats and cockroaches are frequently seen in the prison, and security guards beat prisoners, according to inmates contacted by the committee.

“For me, 30-second-long full body cavity searches last a year. I would like the justice minister to see us being searched naked to witness how deeply embarrassed we are during the searches,” one prisoner was quoted in the report as saying.

The report also revealed that inmates in the Alanya L Type Prison, also in the province of Antalya, where 1,491 prisoners are staying, cannot watch opposition news channels like IMC TV, Cem, Yol, Hayat TV and Halk TV.

The inmates in Alanya also complained about full body cavity searches and beatings.