Former Turkish police chief jailed after 2013 investigation given limited water in prison

Former Turkish police chief Ömer Köse, who has been imprisoned since 2014 due to his role in December 2013 graft probes that implicated high-level government officials, is given only 20 liters of water a day for all his needs despite the coronavirus pandemic, Turkish Minute reported, citing Bold Medya news website.

Köse, who is jailed in Tekirdağ Prison in northwestern Turkey, is given a limited amount of water unlike other inmates. He has been held in solitary confinement for fours years and recently began to be given 20 liters of water daily, which he needs to use for his personal hygiene, to wash his dishes and to clean his cell. According to his relatives, when Köse turns on the tap to wait for hot water, his 20-liter limit is quickly exhausted.

Petitions Köse written by Köse and his lawyer to the prison administration as well as to the Justice Ministry about the water problem have not received a response. Prison guards tell Köse that the water flow meter in his cell might be broken; however, a request from Köse to have the water meter in his cell repaired also remains unanswered.

According to his family, Köse is collecting rainwater to clean his cell and is experiencing difficulty in ensuring his personal hygiene during the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier, the former police chief wrote petitions about the failure of the heating system in his cell and that he was subjected to physical attacks in prison, but they also went unanswered.

Despite the heating problem, a second blanket kept by Köse in his cell was taken away during a search of his cell.

Köse was one of the police officers who took part in a bribery and corruption investigation in connection with state-owned Halkbank that shook the country in December 2013. The probe implicated, among others, the family members of four cabinet ministers as well as the children of then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Despite the scandal resulting in the resignation of all the cabinet members, the investigation was dropped after prosecutors and police chiefs were removed from the case. Erdoğan, government officials and the pro-government media have described the investigation as an attempt to overthrow the government.

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