With its 8 thousands of prisoners and detainees, Silivri prison "facility" had famous guests last week. Due to intensive criticism about the prison conditions, Minister of Justice Sadullah Ergin visited the prison on May 11th, Friday with 11 journalists.
Ahmet Hakan (Hürriyet newspaper), Oral Çalışlar (Radikal), Ruşen Çakır (Vatan), Aslı Aydıntaşbaş (Milliyet), Emre Aköz (Sabah), Ergun Babahan (Star), Utku Çakırözer (Cumhuriyet), Nagehan Alçı (Akşam), Tuncer Köseoğlu (Taraf), Bülent Korucu (Zaman) ve Rahim Er (Türkiye) attended the prison tour and almost a common issue they all wrote at their columns was "Although the hygiene conditions of Silivri Prison were better than the old prisons, the main problem was the fact that detainees and prisoners were all isolated."
Following the visit of these columnists and journalists, we had a conversation with an old guest of the Silivri No. 3 prison, "Mr. Z"
We asked him "Is 'isolation of the prisoners' the main problem?", "Are the foods as good as it's written?" "Can you use hot water, common fields and laundry rooms?", Mr. Z confirmed some of them and he said "some of them should be taken as 'Services for important guests"
"Prison food is of bad quality"
"Z" objects the "food was of good quality" comment of Nagehan Alçı and Ergun Babahan. "Z" says:
"The food is too fatty and the prisoners cannot eat most of the meals. It's impossible to eat them unless you filter the fat layer on the food"
"I lost 12 kg (26.4 pounds) in 2.5 months in Silivri Prison. This means I would die if I stayed 2 more months"
"We had the right to shop from prison canteen once a week. If you miss to shop on that day, you had to wait for another week."
"The journalists wrote about laundry rooms however I have never seen any prisoners nor detainees at the laundry room."
"You are only able to see the prisoners in your ward"
"Mr. Z" says he's been staying at L type warden which has capacity for 21 people. He says there are seven rooms at their warden with three prisoners staying in each. He adds there are also a common field and a courtyard, which is opened by morning roll call and closed by evening roll call.
Agreeing that one of the worst practices in the prison is the isolation of prisoners and detainees, "Mr. Z" underlines that the prisoners are only able to see the prisoners in their wards.
"We were 21 people in the ward but there were prisoners who stayed with 2 people or who were in isolation rooms. Those people had no chance to see nor talk to anyone else"
"We use the sports field once a week as the journalists wrote. They bring us to football field for 50 minutes a week in summer and basketball field for 50 minutes a week in winter. However you only play sports with the same people at your ward."
"The measures are too tight. They send you to single cell even though there's a slightest problem. If you go in that single, cell it's not clear whether you'll stay there for a week or month"
"Moreover, the prisoners often get the penalty of deprivation of access to communication means and deprivation of accepting visitors for periods up to 6 months. This is very common in the prison."
"They do not only watch the wards by cameras. Common fields, courtyards are also under camera control for 24 hours."(EKN)