Some inmates to get better conditions after overpopulation in Turkish jails due to Gülen case arrests
Oya Armutçu – ANKARA
AFP photoOverpopulation in Turkish prisons in the aftermath of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt, which is widely believed to have been orchestrated by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), has led the Turkish Justice Ministry to introduce new regulations that would better prison conditions for inmates serving less than 10 years in prison.
According to the new regulations, inmates with total prison terms below 10 years will remain in closed prisons for one month and will later be transferred to open prisons.
After the number of people arrested over their links to the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen reached some 42,000 and the total number of inmates in Turkey rose to above 197,297, the ministry has decided to introduce new regulations to transfer inmates to open prisons in order to open space in closed prisons.
The new regulations will enable inmates with lesser sentences to serve in stricter conditions in closed prisons for one month, but would later be transferred to more spacious open prisons, the Official Gazette stated on Feb. 23.
Inmates with sentences over 10 years will serve one tenth of their terms in a closed prison and later be sent to an open one.
According to the former regulation, inmates who received solitary confinement three times had to wait for three years before being transferred to an open prison after their punishments were lifted. With the new regulation, those who were given solitary confinements five times would have to wait for a year before being transferred to an open prison after the punishments were lifted.
In the former regulation, the inmates who were sent back to closed prisons from open ones due to disciplinary penalties were able to move back to open ones six months after their punishments were lifted. For those who were sent back multiple times, the waiting time was one year. The new regulation has canceled the six months to one year of the duration.
The inmates will be able to move back to open prisons if authorities observe that they do not hold the risk of escaping.