560 children, aged between 0 to 6, are being held in Turkish prisons along with their mothers, according to data given by Turkey’s Justice Ministry.
In a written response to the main opposition Republican Peoples’ Party (CHP) deputy Gamze İlgezdi’s question motion on the subject, the justice ministry announced the number of children staying along with their mothers behind bars has hit 560 in April 2016.
Children are taken into prison in the absence of family members to look after them outside. Turkish government has launched a sweeping crackdown across the country, detaining more than 120,000 and jailing some 50,000 over alleged links to the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
It has become a common occurrence that both parents are taken into custody leaving no one to care for children. Turkish government, on many occasions, detained pregnant mothers as well.
It is reported that out of 560 children behind the bars, 114 are aged between 0 and 12 months; 128 children are 1-year-old; 114 children 2 years old; 81 children 3 years old; 70 children 4 years old; 31 children 5 years old; 5 children 6 years old; while age of the remaining 17 are unknown, the ministry said.
According to official data, 291 children who stay with imprisoned mothers are boys and 269 are girls.
Turkey’s Justice Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Basri Bağcı had informed Parliament last week that Turkish prisons are currently 9 percent over capacity, saying that some inmates have to sleep in shifts. “There are currently 221,607 inmates in prisons. Prison capacity is 203,000, making them 9 percent over capacity,” said Bağcı during a presentation to the parliamentary Human Rights Investigation Commission. (SCF with turkeypurge.com) May 22, 2017