Turkey building 137 new prisons

Turkey’s Justice Ministry is constructing 114 new prisons and 23 more prison projects are in the bidding process, Turkish news site Gazete Duvar reported on Monday.

The 137 prisons will have a capacity of 80,000 according to figures by the Presidential Communications Centre (CİMER), the website said.

The figures were released in response to a question from main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) member of parliament Onursal Adıgüzel. He said people stayed in prison for months and years without knowing their crimes, and accused the Justice Ministry of building more prisons instead of solving the problem.

Turkey ranks second in the incarceration rate, the number of people in prison per 100,000 of population, among OECD countries, according to a recent report. As of May 2019, the incarceration rate in Turkey was 318 prisoners per 100,000.

The number of inmates has soared following the July 2016 coup attempt, after which the government detained tens of thousands in a wide-ranging crackdown on dissent.