Melek Çetinkaya, the mother of a former military cadet who is serving a life sentence for allegedly participating in an abortive putsch in Turkey in July 2016, said on Twitter that her son’s prison cell was not provided with heating or warm water.
Çetinkaya said she had visited her son, Taha Furkan Çetinkaya, in Istanbul’s Silivri Prison Tuesday morning. Her son was wearing two sweaters because his cell was freezing cold.
In the last two weeks Istanbul has been gripped by snowstorms and freezing temperatures.
According to Çetinkaya the inmates’ food has also been decreased by half.
Silivri Prison is notorious for its large number of political prisoners, and the administration has been criticized for mistreating inmates, especially cadets.
In early January, cadets incarcerated in Silivri Prison were severely beaten by prison guards.
Some cadets said they were arbitrarily restricted from buying drinking water and food from the canteen by the prison administration. Inmates said they needed to buy the food because they were given poor-quality meals, especially meat, and they were provided tainted tap water in the wards.
A total of 259 military cadets were detained on coup charges on July 16, 2016 and were arrested four days later. The cadets were indicted a year after they were put in pretrial detention, and their trial was concluded in May 2018.
One hundred seventy-eight of the cadets were given life sentences on charges of attempting to overturn the constitutional order and attempting to overthrow the Turkish government and parliament by use of force as well as membership in a terrorist organization.
The cadets say they didn’t know a coup attempt was underway and were acting on orders from their superiors, who told them there was a terrorist attack.
The military coup attempt killed 251 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the abortive putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the faith-based Gülen movement. The movement strongly denies any involvement.