Almost on a daily basis, news reports of violations of human rights in prisons arrive from Turkey. Political prisoner Fatih Baran has been kept in a solitary confinement cell in Konya Ereğli T-Type Closed Prison for almost a month now since he was forcibly transferred from Mersin’s Tarsus Prison on 25 July.
Baran launched an indefinite hunger strike to protest against such arbitrary treatment of the prison administration. He has been refusing meals for 13 days as of today.
“My son’s only demand is to be transferred to his friends cell. No one deserves this cruelty. As a mother, I am desperate. My son did not hurt anyone, why do they torment him like that?” Miran Baran, his mother, told Jin News.
During their weekly phone call Fatih Baran told his family that the prison administrator tried to make him end the hunger strike, by offering to let him out of the solitary confinement cell after the Eid al-adha. But Baran did not accept that offer.
“Until they transfer me to my friends cell, I will continue the hunger strike. My protest will continue until I get out of this solitary confinement cell. The prison administration is constantly trying to distract us. That is why I do not trust him,” Baran told his mother on the phone.
“They put Fatih into the solitary confinement cell without any reason, without informing us either. I am speaking out: Urgently let my son out of this solitary confinement cell, where you put him for no reason. If he did something wrong, he should be punished, but Fatih did not commit a crime. What is the reason for this punishment, I do not understand!”
İbrahim Sütçü, another prisoner in the same prison told his family on their weekly phone call that the recent racist attacks in the country is also being repeated in the prisons against Kurdish prisoners.
“We submitted a petition for Fatih to be transferred to our ward. But the new prison governor’s attitude towards us is very cruel. If our petition is not taken into account, we will also start an indefinite hunger strike, too.” Sütçü said according to Fatih’s mother.
All political prisoners who have been transferred to Konya Ereğli T Type Closed Prison face similar treatment as if Konya prison has been turned into an “exile” prison for political prisoners to be further suppressed.
Among the ill-treatment practices in Ereğli Prison, there are strip searches, physical torture and solitary confinement cells, according to the latest report prepared by the Association of Lawyers for Freedom (OHD) Mersin Branch.
“Some political prisoners have been kept in solitary confinement cells for almost 2 years. They are trying to normalise such practices.” states the report, which cites the names of all prisoners and the duration of time they have spent in solitary confinement.
Below are listed the findings of OHD regarding the solitary confinement cell impositions to the political prisoners transferred to Ereğli Prison. All such findings reveal the extent to which certain prison administrations in Turkey act as if they are a secondary judicial authority to rule and exercise further “sanctions” on political prisoners in addition to the prison sentence they had been already given by the courts:
Ömer Sipek was transferred from Çorum Prison to Ereğli Prison and he was kept in solitary confinement for 1 year and 6 months in Ereğli Prison.
Faik Budak is kept in a solitary confinement for 2 years and 6 months after he was transferred from Ceyhan M Type Closed Prison to Eregli Prison.
İbrahim Sütçü was transferred from Osmaniye T-Type No. 2 Closed Prison on 26 September 2019 to Ereğli Prison. He was taken to ward after being kept in solitary confinement for 10 months.
Hasan Muhammed İbiş from Afrin (Efrin) was transfred from Osmaniye T Type No. 2 Closed Prison to Ereğli Prison. His lawyer stated that Hasan was subjected to severe physical violence in the prison and was kept in a solitary confinement for 8 months.
Dilxas Kılıçoğlu has been kept in a solitary cell for 3 months after being transferred from Van F Type Closed Prison.
Ömer Hayat, İmam Buzi, Cüdar İcus and Mehmet Can were transferred from Kırşehir Prison to Ereğli Prison on 16 October 16, 2020. They were all subjected to naked body searches and they were not put in the political prisoners’ ward, but have been kept in a seperate ward.