Record increase in Turkish prison populations – Council of Europe

Data released in an annual Council of Europe report has revealed an explosion in the prison population of Turkey, with a record increase of 161.7% from 2006-2016.

The SPACE report, released on Mar. 20 2018, shows that Turkey had the second highest proportion of prisoners out of the 47 participating member states of the Council of Europe, with 244.6 per 100,000 inhabitants, after Georgia, with 256.3. The average was just over 127 per 100,000.

Turkey also had a very high ratio of detainees who had not received their final sentence, with 90.7 per 100,000 inhabitants, equalling 37.1 percent of their total detainees. Turkey’s ratio was hugely greater than the average, 27 per 100,000 inhabitants, and second only to Albania’s at 103.2 per 100,000.

The annual report, which is co-authored by the Council of Europe and the University of Lausanne, covers data during the period up to Sep. 1 2016.

The figures therefore may have been influenced by arrests carried out during the state of emergency since the failed coup attempt in July that year, and may not accurately reflect current figures after over a year of further emergency rule.

At 27.8 percent, the highest number of custodial sentences are handed out in Turkey for those convicted of theft. Drug offences make up 23.9 percent of custodial sentences, then homicide at 22.2 percent.

The daily expenses per inmate in Turkish prisons at 21 euros is far below the European average of 108.59.

To read the SPACE 2016 executive summary in full, click here.