The number of children, aged between 0 to 6, who are being held in Turkish prisons along with their parents rose from 560 to 668, according to government data.

In a statement to main opposition Republican Peoples’ Party (CHP) deputy Gamze Ilgezdi’s question, the Justice ministry said the number of children staying along with their mothers behind bars has hit 668 as of July 4, 2017. The corresponding number was 560 in April.

Out of 668, 149 are aged between 0 and 12 months; 140 children are 1-year-old; 124 children 2 years old; 117 children 3 years old; 77 children 4 years old; 44 children 5 years old; 6 children 6 years old; while age of the remaining 11 are unknown, the ministry said.

Children are taken into prison in the absence of family members to look after them outside. Turkish government has launched a sweeping crackdown across the country, detaining more than 120,000 and jailing some 55,000 over alleged or real links to the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.

It has become a common occurrence very recently that both parents are taken into custody leaving no one outside to care for children. Pregnant women, too, failed to avoid government persecution on many occasions.

Out of 560, 149 are aged between 0 and 12 months; 140 children are 1-year-old; 124 children 2 years old; 117 children 3 years old; 77 children 4 years old; 44 children 5 years old; 6 children 6 years old; while age of the remaining 11 are unknown, the ministry said.

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