Recent İHD report exposes severe rights violations in Turkish jails

Turkey’s Human Rights Association’s (İHD) recent report has exposed the violations in Turkish prisons which include poor or no medical care given to sick prisoners, harassment, beating, humiliating strip searches, solitary confinement, arbitrary punishments like denial of visit permits.

The Prison Commission of the Ankara Branch of the İHD has published its report exposing rights violations in the prisons in Central Anatolian Region of Turkey registered in the months between April and June 2018.

According to a report by pro-Kurdish Fırat news agency (ANF), İHD executive Nuray Çevirmen said that the report included Bolu F Type, Dinar T Type, Kayseri Bünyan No. 2 T Type, Kırıkkale/Hacılar F Type, Sincan Women Prison and Tokat T Type prisons.

Çevirmen said that the report was compiled by the members of the İHD prison commission through interviews with lawyers who in turn received information from prisoners, complaints by the prisoners’ families as well as deputies and associations. Another important source of information were the letters sent by prisoners.

Some rights violations in the related prisons are as follows:

BOLU F TYPE PRISON: Prisoner Abdulvahap Kavak has been informed On 9 April 2018, 7 years after it was detected about the nodule in his throat. He needs surgery but he is not having one allegedly because there is no inmate ward in the university clinic.

Prisoner Mehmet Çelebi Çalan, a seriously sick prisoner, told the prison doctor two months ago that he should have a blood test for his annual prostate control. He is waiting for the test for two months.

The State of Emergency (OHAL) means among other things that prisoners cannot get newspapers, magazines and books that were previously allowed. Prisoners are only allowed to keep five books and five magazines. Radios with short wave have also been forbidden. Only radios with FM frequency have been allowed.Viewing Turkish TV channels like CNN and Fox TV have also been forbidden.

DİNAR T TYPE PRISON: Radios were confiscated and never returned. A prison sentence of one year was handed out to a prisoner whose possession of a small needle used to pierce olive seeds found by guardians. Prisoners were beaten 20 times in a year. Since they have been taken to the hospital one week after the beating they are not given any medical report.

KAYSERİ / BÜNYAN No. 2 TYPE PRISON: The number of books is limited to five. No radio allowed. There are no health officers in the institution. The distance between the prison and the hospital is about 50 km, thus patients are at risk.

KIRIKKALE F TYPE PRISON: Punishments and visit restrictions have been reported.

Meanwhile, ANF also reported that 56-year-old sick prisoner Cemil Ivrendi, who has been held in the Mersin-Tarsus Type T Closed Prison sent a letter to the İHD’s Ankara chapter about his health issues and the attitude he was faced with during his treatment.

Ivrendi, who has reportedly stayed in 15 different prisons since 1994, was already experiencing coronary failure when an anal fistula developed in his body. Ivrendi said the fistula swelled up and ruptured again in 2017, and that he had an operation in the Eskişehir Public Hospital on September 11, 2017 but the issue didn’t go away. In the Tarsus Prison where he was recently transferred, Ivrendi was taken to the Tarsus Public Hospital when the fistula ruptured once more on May 18, 2018.

Ivrendi wrote that: “This was the first time I faced a really bad situation. The doctor came, and just cut into my skin without any anesthetics. I was vivisected. I’m still trying to dress my wound myself.”

A report drafted by Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) in May 2018 had revealed that the prison population in Turkey has increased by 285 percent during the rule of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and that serious human rights violations are taking place in these prisons.

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