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Gökhan Saygı has been in the Kalkandere Type L Prison in Turkey's northern province of Rize.
His father Abdülselam Saygı, his grandfather Arif Saygı and his uncle Abdulgafur Saygı have been arrested or convicted in the Van Type M Prison in Turkey's eastern province of Van.
As for his family, they have been living in Yüksekova in the southeastern province of Hakkari, which is 911 kilometers away from Gökhan Saygı.
Gökhan Saygı was also detained and arrested in Yüksekova in 2014 and sent to the Hakkari Closed Prison. He was then transferred to Rize.
In his letter addressed to the Civil Society in the Penal System (CİSST) Association, Saygı has written that his requests to be transferred to a prison in Van have been insistently rejected:
"Is there really no vacancy in a prison, where thousands of people stay?"
"I am in a prison far away from my family. For that reason, they have difficulties in coming to visit me. These are also financial difficulties, leaving behind an emotional impact as well. My family is financially and emotionally affected if they come to visit me; if not, they are emotionally affected.
"They are also worried that I am far away from them. My father, my grandfather and my uncle are in Van as prisoners or convicts, which has been causing further difficulties for my family. Since they cannot come to visit us all, our relationship is being damaged.
"Though all these grounds that I have mentioned are reasons for transfer in themselves and though I offer to pay the transfer costs, all of my applications have been rejected on the ground that "the capacity is full.'
"There are currently four closed prisons in Van, the total capacity of these prisons are 3 thousand and 500 people. It goes against the grain that there is no vacancy in a prison, where thousands of people have been staying. Even the applications that I have made for the recently opened prisons have been rejected on the same ground."
Saygı has concluded his letter by stating that he will submit another application with a request for his transfer to a prison in Van.
HDP MP Gergerlioğlu submitted a parliamentary inquiry
On November 5, People's Democratic Party (HDP) Kocaeli MP and Human Rights Investigation Commission member Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu submitted a parliamentary inquiry regarding the problems of the inmates transferred to prisons that are far away from their families and relatives.
Stating that the problem in question affects not only the prisoners themselves, but also their families and children, Gergerlioğlu emphasized that the ones who want to see and meet the inmates have to cover a kilometers-long distance to go to the prisons.
Reminding the financial burden of such a journey on the families and relatives of the prisoners, Gergerlioğlu stated,
"The reason why a prisoner, whose family lives in (Turkey's eastern province of) Van, is transferred to (Turkey's southwestern province) of Edirne or why an inmate, whose family lives in Edirne, is sent to a prison in (Turkey's southwestern province of) Antalya cannot be explained with reason." (AS/SD)
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