The Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV) has released a report on the violation of the right to fair access to healthy and adequate food in Turkish prisons.
The report was based on 12 interviews with released inmates from four different prisons in İzmir. The TİHV report on violation of right to food access in prisons was prepared by dietitian Dicle Dilan Salman, with the consultancy of Feride Aksu and Bülent Şık.
According to the report, the prison administration does not provide sufficient food, resulting in poor-quality of nutrition. The report reveals that food sold at the prison canteen was too expensive for most prisoners and that at the canteen prisoners are paying a lot of money simply for their basic needs. The report also emphasised the lack of medical treatment and insufficient food for ill prisoners.
Dietician Dicle Dilan Salman shared the results of the report with Jin News. Salman emphasised that prisoners only just have enough access to food for survival. “It causes health problems, and many are suffering from digestive problems after the life in prison.”
She continued: “Access to healthy and sufficient food is considered as a secondary right and other rights claims are prioritized in prisons. There is a hierarchical approach among rights. We observed that nobody considers the right to food access as a right in itself. Because they have many problems- isolation, strip search, restrictions after the covid-19 pandemic- they could not even mention the food problem.”
Dilan Salman added that all interviewees complained about getting insufficient food and lack of nutrition. “They could eat vegetables and fruits maybe once or twice a week. The meals also have a bad taste”, she said.
Salman also emphasised prisoners general fear of getting poisoned.
“They believe that the administration will poison them. They say that the administration approaches them with a perception like, ‘why should we feed them instead of just hanging them?’.