Number of inmates in Turkish prisons virtually doubled in last 5 years: report

The number of people in prison per 100,000 of the Turkish population increased from 188 in December 2013 to 323 in December 2018, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) reported on Thursday, according to the Demirören news agency.

The prison population across Turkey was 264,842 on Dec. 31, 2018, an increase of 14 percent over the previous year.

“Meanwhile, 401 of every 100,000 people over the age of 12 were in prison at the end of 2018,” TurkStat said.

Turkey ranks second after the United States among 36 countries in terms of incarceration rate per 100,000 of the national population, according to the latest OECD data.

The figure was recorded as 655 in the United States, 234 in Israel, 231 in Chile and 214 in New Zealand, whereas the lowest figures were in Iceland with 37, Japan with 41, Finland with 51, Sweden with 59 and the Netherlands with 61.

Seventy-nine percent of inmates are convicted by courts, while the remaining is under pre-trial detention. Some 96 percent of inmates are men.

The number of jailed juveniles – the 12-17 age group — was 2,095 at the end of last year, an annual increase of about 2 percent.

Seventeen percent of the people behind bars are convicted of theft, followed by assailants and drug dealers at 12 percent and 7 percent, respectively. (

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