Inmate dies after contracting COVID-19 in Turkey’s Silivri prison

The chief public prosecutor’s office in Istanbul’s Bakırköy Court House on Friday announced the death of one inmate with a chronic condition who had tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus

“One convict who had the chronic pulmonary condition tuberculosis had been referred to a hospital on May 7, 2020, where he tested negative for the COVID-19,” a statement by the prosecutor’s office said. “During treatment (the inmate's) test turned to positive, and (they) lost (their) life on May 21 at 17:45 as treatment continued in the ICU.”

The statement gave no detail on the identity of the convict.

The prison, in coordination with Istanbul’s Healthcare Directorate, has discovered through contact tracing a total of 82 inmates in two of the prisons, No. 7 and 8, in the Silivri Prison Complex since May 8, when the prosecutor’s office announced 44 positive cases therein.

Ten out of the 82 inmates who tested positive have been referred to hospitals for treatment, while the remaining 72 who are not showing symptoms are held in isolation within the prison complex, with doctors monitoring them, the statement said.

Silivri prison is known for hosting many of Turkey’s political prisoners. Turkey’s parliament passed a bill on Apr. 13 making it possible for the release of tens of thousands of inmates to ease overcrowding in prisoners and protect detainees from contracting the coronavirus. 

The Silivri campus has ten separate prisons within, and among the inmates in the Silivri Prison No.9 are Turkish philanthropist Osman Kavala, OdaTV journalists Barış Pehlivan and Barış Terkoğlu, as well as Kurdish journalists Ferhat Çelik and Aydın Keser.