Turkey aims to lower number of prisoners
26.2 percent of all prisoners are under arrest awaiting trial, Ergin says.Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin has said that 26.2 percent of all prisoners in Turkey are being held under arrest awaiting trial, vowing to decrease this number, while the top EU diplomat in Turkey underlined problems stemming from broad use of arrest as a judicial measure.
Arrest prior to trial should be used only as an exceptional measure, Jean-Maurice Ripert, head of the delegation of the European Union to Turkey, said. “Despite reforms carried out in 2010, 40 percent of the people under arrest in Turkey have not yet received their final judgment,” Ripert was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency.
Ripert and Ergin made their remarks at the closing meeting of a seminar called “The Dissemination of Model Prison Practices and Support for Prison Reform Program.”
In his speech, Ergin corrected the figures given by Ripert, saying those figures were valid a few years ago, but not today.
“As of today in Turkey, only 26.2 of every 100 people in prison are under arrest,” Ergin was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency, citing the acceleration in the rate of case handling within the judiciary as the reason for the reduced figure.
“Although this proportion is an acceptable proportion among Council of Europe countries, it doesn’t satisfy us. We are making efforts to decrease this number to below 20 percent.”