Turkey spends over $3 billion on prisons in three years - report

Turkey has spent $ 3.4 billion on prisons over the past three years, over five times the amount spent on research and development services for education, Turkish ABC news site reported, citing a 2017 report from the Court of Accounts Directorate.

The 2017 Annual Fiscal Statistics Evaluation report unveiled that Turkey spent 5.6 billion liras from the state treasury for prisons in 2015; 6.7 billion in 2016 and more than 8.9 billion liras in 2017.

The government, in contrast, spent 3 billion 855 million Turkish liras on education, less than a fifth the amount spent on prisons, on educational expenditures for the same three year period, the report found.

Turkey, which has the third-highest per capita prison population in Europe,  has witnessed an increase of 161.7%  in its prison population between 2006-2016, according to a Council of Europe report.  

Turkey’s leading Justice and Development Party (AKP) last year announced plans to build 228 more prison facilities in order to increase Turkey’s prison capacity by 137,687 more persons in five years, after detaining tens of thousands of teachers, lawyers, students, judges and other officials as part of a crackdown on dissent following the July 2016 coup attempt.