The prison administration of Silivri No.7 Type L Prison in Istanbul has imposed a ban on books.
Silivri Prison has many of Turkey’s political prisoners as inmates such as academics, lawyers and journalists. The prison has often been the focus of discussion regarding violations of human rights and unlawful practices.
The most recent example of the violation of prisoners rights coming from Silivri is the ban on books, which the prisoners announced to the outside world by the letters they wrote.
According to the statements of the Silivri prisoners, the prison administration has changed the procedure that allowed the prisoners to recieve books that their visitors brought them. Prisoners said that normally each prisoner was able to get the books that their visitors brought along with them in weekly visits before the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the prison administration has now banned visitors to bring any books to the Silivri Prison using the pandemic as an excuse, according to prisoners’ letters.
According to the new procedure imposed by the Silivri Prison administration, prisoners can only now get books sent to them by post, which the prisoners describe as a “de-facto” ban on books, as the books arriving to the prison by post have been kept waiting in the prison’s administration system for at least two months.
And even then after waiting months to get their books, some prisoners were informed that the books sent to them by post ‘were lost’ in storage and so were not able to even get the books sent to them by post.
The prisoners also stated in their letters that academic books written in foreign languages have very rarely been allowed for the prisoners by the prison administration and that on the rare occasion it has been allowed, translators are then hired to check the content of the books in foreign languages and prisoners are then forced to pay the translators costs.