Turkey home to 95% of prisoners convicted of terrorism in Europe: report

Turkey is by far the leader in the number of prisoners convicted of terrorism in Europe, according to the 2021 Council of Europe (CoE) Annual Penal Statistics on Prison Populations report, better known as SPACE I, Nordic Monitor reported.

According to SPACE I data, 32,006 people convicted of a terrorism-related crime are currently behind bars, and 30,555 of these people, or 95 percent, are in Turkish prisons, Nordic Monitor said.

Turkey had the second-highest prison population rate of the 47 CoE member states as of January 2021, with 325 prisoners per 100,000 inhabitants, according to SPACE 1.

Based on that European median value, the report categorized Turkey as among the countries with “very high” incarceration rates, over 25 percent higher than the European average.

In addition to Turkey, the category also included Russia, the country with the highest prison population rate of 328 prisoners per 100,000 inhabitants, Georgia (231), Azerbaijan (215), Slovak Republic (192), Lithuania (190), Czech Republic (180), Hungary (180), Poland (179), Estonia (176), Albania (162), Latvia (160), Moldova (160), Serbia (153), Scotland (135), Montenegro (135) and UK: England & Wales (131).

The CoE report also revealed that Turkey had the sixth most crowded prisons in Europe, with 108 inmates per 100 available places on January 31, 2021, with the ratio of inmates per one prison staff member being 3.9, the highest figure among the 47 countries.

Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has allocated 8.7 billion lira for the construction of 36 new prisons in the next four years, which will significantly increase Turkey’s already high incarceration rate. The number of Turkish penal institutions will increase to 419 in 2025. There are currently 383 prisons in the country.

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