Family members of inmates in Turkey’s Afyon T-type prison have claimed prison authorities subjected prisoners to mistreatment and psychological abuse, Bold Medya reported.
One man who wanted to remain anonymous said his father had recently been transferred to Afyon Prison and that during a recent visit had said prison authorities frequently threatened inmates and psychologically abused them.
“The prison administration frequently threatens inmates that they will make it impossible for them to be paroled,” said the man.
According to inmates the warden repeatedly told them he is “the state” and forced them to admit remorse for their crimes. Political prisoners in particular were subjected to this pressure.
According to the Turkish Penal Code, people convicted of membership in a terrorist organization are eligible for parole after serving two-thirds of their sentence.
However, many political prisoners have been denied release from prison although they have served their full sentence or have been eligible for parole.
In some cases prisoners have not been released because they “failed to show remorse.” Inmates are required by the prison administration to disclose their political beliefs and repent for their crimes.
They are asked personal questions about their political beliefs. If political prisoners fail to answer these questions according to prison administrations’ expectations, they are denied release on grounds of “poor conduct.”
In Afyon Prison inmates were also not allowed to watch television channels critical of the policies of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government. While most prisons allow 20 book per month, Afyon Prison only allows five.
Complaints of mistreatment in Afyon Prison have also been made in the past. Lütfi Koç, a chronically ill inmate, claimed he was severely beaten by guards in December 2020.
The Human Rights Association (IHD) documented that inmates were subject to unlawful strip-search, beaten and prevented from seeing the prison doctor. Inmates especially complained about the warden, who allegedly forced them to strip and threatened them with beating if they refused to do so. Some inmates said they were subjected to falaka, the beating of the soles of the feet.
Moreover, the prison tap water was filthy and inmates were not allowed bottled water. Inmates were also not given basic hygiene products such as soap.