Prison denies inmate his own book for being ‘motivational’

A prison administration in northwest Turkey has refused to deliver inmate Mehmet Alçınkaya a copy of his autobiography on the grounds that the book’s content was deemed “motivational” and “educational,” the Mezopotamya news agency reported on Friday.

Titled “Always in the Struggle,” the book is about Alçınkaya’s life, including his 45-year-long incarceration. He has spent the last five years in a Kocaeli prison.

“It’s obvious they’re upset about prisoners becoming productive,” Alçınkaya said in a letter.

The book was denied to him even though it is sold legally in Turkey and the fact that other prisoners are allowed access to it, the report said.

Similarly, Resul Kocatürk, another inmate imprisoned in Kırıkkale, was denied access to his book titled “22 Days in the Madhouse: Sick Prisoners on the Cross,” on the grounds that the book had objectionable content.

It is common for Turkish prison authorities to obstruct the delivery of publications to inmates, particularly political prisoners, due to their content.

Prison administrations also frequently block Kurdish-language letters and books, citing inability to inspect the contents due to a lack of translators. In some cases, prisoners are required to cover translation costs.

Rights groups often report such arbitrary practices as an additional layer of persecution for the political prisoners whose trials were already based on dubious grounds.

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