The family members of inmates in a northern Turkish prison have said the lack of adequate nutrition has led to increasing health problems in the facility, Bold Medya reported on Tuesday.
“They can’t tell whether they’re cold from the temperature or due to a lack of nutritious food,” one relative said.
Inmates’ petitions to the administration of Ordu E-type Prison have gone unanswered, reports said.
Family members also said that despite soaring inflation in the country, the prison’s budget for meals has remained the same and that warden Tuncay Avanaş has refrained from contacting the governor’s office due to the significant number of political prisoners held in the facility.
In recent years, NGOs and international organizations have reported several problems related to prison conditions in Turkey, including overcrowding, poor hygiene, lack of access to proper medical care and lack of adequate nutrition.
Turkey is by far the leader in the number of prisoners in Europe, according a 2022 report released by the Council of Europe. The country witnessed a surge of 369 percent in its prison population between 2005 and 2022, surpassing all other European countries in terms of the rate of increase.
While the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been advertising its large-scale construction plans for new prisons, the authorities have been generally ignoring complaints and reports regarding the unfavorable conditions in the existing prisons.