Turkey set to free 38,000 from prison under supervision

Justice minister says decree allows release of inmates convicted before July 1, excluding those arrested after failed coup

Turkey set to free 38,000 from prison under supervision


Turkey's justice minister unveiled a decree Wednesday paving the way for the release of 38,000 people from prison under judicial supervision. 

Bekir Bozdag said on his Twitter account that the measure would only involve crimes committed before July 1, a move excluding any people arrested after the July 15 coup attempt. 

Bozdag said the measure was not an amnesty, but rather a conditional release from prison of inmates who have two years or less remaining on their sentences, and who have displayed good behavior. 

The measure excludes people convicted of murder, domestic violence, sexual abuse, or crimes against the state, he said.

Separately, in a televised address on local Turkish TV channel, A HABER, Bozdag shed some light on the issue, saying, “There are a total of 214,000 inmates in prisons right now. The decree only concerned 93,000 convicts.” 

After the deadly coup attempt, which martyred at least 240 people and injured nearly 2,200 others, Turkey declared a state of emergency on July 20.

During a state of emergency, the Cabinet has the right to issue statutory decrees under the president of the republic without regard to routine procedures and restrictions in Article 91 of the Constitution.

These decrees are first published in the Official Gazette and then submitted to parliament for ratification.

(Reporting By Mehmet Tosun; Writing by Burcu Arik)

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