Turkey sees 10 pct increase in prison population in 2019 - report

Theft topped the crimes committed in Turkey in 2019, when the prison population in the country rose by over 10 percent, according figures from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK)

Fifteen percent of Turkey’s inmate population of 291, 546 were found guilty of theft and burglary in 2019, Duvar news site reported, citing TÜİK figures. 

Another 12.4 percent were found guilty of inflicting bodily injury while 7 percent were imprisoned for drug related times, it said.

Those awaiting trial under arrest registered at 15.9 percent, while those convicted made up for 84.1 percent of the population.

Crimes committed by minors aged 12 to 17 dropped by 10.3 percent, to 13,015, and the number of children who entered Turkish prisons dropped by 19.9 percent, to 1,679, according to TÜİK.

Turkey ranks second in the incarceration rate, the number of people in prison per 100,000 of population, with the United States at the top among OECD countries, according to a 2019 report

In 2019, the incarceration rate in Turkey was 430 prisoners per 100,000, TÜİK said.

Turkish Parliament in April passed a law, which would reduce the prison population by nearly one third to protect detainees from the COVID-19 pandemic. But the bill has come under criticism for excluding political prisoners, including journalists and human rights activists, which have faced a government crackdown following the July 2016 coup attempt.