‘Doors of Silivri Prison Wards Remain Locked at the Night of ?stanbul Earthquake’

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  • September 30, 2019
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Visiting Silivri Prison, CHP MP CakirAlzer has said that in response to inmates' request for the doors of their wards to remain unlocked in case of an emergency, the prison administration answered, That door opens only with the permission of Minister of Justice.

Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Eskisehir MP Utku CakirAlzer visited Silivri Prison, where the 5.7-magnitude Istanbul earthquake with the shores of Silivri district as its epicenter was felt strongly.

Paying a visit to the prison following the earthquake dated September 26, CakirAlzer met imprisoned journalists, writers and civil society representatives and released a statement for the press after his visit.

Located in Silivri at the outskirts of Istanbul, Silivri Prison currently holds 22 thousand 700 convicted and arrested people, including former CHP MP and party assembly member Eren Erdem, businessperson Osman Kavala and journalist-writer Ahmet Altan. 490 personnel are also on duty at Silivri Prison.

'There is no emergency plan'

As indicated by CakirAlzer, Eren Erdem said that neither the Ministry of Justice nor the prison administration has a scenario or an emergency plan for what needs to be done in the event of an earthquake.

Arrested businessperson Osman Kavala also told Utku CakirAlzer that he felt the earthquake quite clearly.

Indicating that Ahmet Altan also felt the Istanbul earthquake quite strongly, CakirAlzer said that Altan requested that the prison administration leave the doors of prison wards leading to yards open so that they could escape in case of an emergency at the night of earthquake.

"The prison administration answered Altan, 'That door opens only with the permission of the minister' and at the night when the whole Istanbul slept on the street out of fear, the doors of wards at Silivri Prison remained locked under the pretext of minister", CakirAlzer indicated in his statement.

Second birthday in prison

Meeting with Utku CakirAlzer, businessperson Osman Kavala said that he would turn 62 on October 2, it would be his second birthday in prison and the hearing of Gezi Park case would be held on October 8-9.

CakirAlzer said, "He has heard about the message campaign launched for his birthday and he thanks his friends. When he appears before the judge for the third time, he will be arrested pending trial for 707 days".

"As for the verdict given for Ahmet Altan, it has been reversed by the Supreme Court of Appeals. Their trial with Nazli Ilicak and Mehmet Altan will start again on October 8", CakirAlzer informed further.

Indicating that the appeal and Constitutional Court application of Eren Erdem were waiting to be examined for months, CakirAlzer shared the following message of Erdem: "I am waiting for my immediate release with the same determination, ambition to struggle and sensitivity as well as with the awareness of my unjust and unlawful arrest".

'Judicial reform package on the agenda'

Emphasizing that the current draft of the reform package does not promise freedom or justice to intellectuals in prison, CakirAlzer said,

"The Parliament is opening, judicial package is on the agenda. Intellectuals in prison are waiting for justice and freedom.

"We can expand the package while working on it at the Parliament and turn the package into a regulation based on rights and freedoms. We can eliminate the violation of rights in prison.

"Crime descriptions in Turkish Penal Code and Anti-Terror Law associated with heavy prison sentences can be amended; we can exempt the press and expression of critical opinions from these sentences".

Source: English Bianet