Turkish government is in process of building hundreds of new prisons within the next four years to create space for as many as 500,000 people, according to Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, a deputy from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).

Speaking to the Karar TV early on Monday, Gergerlioğlu said that the unprecedented increase in the number of people jailed as part of Turkey’s ever-expanding purge following the July 15 coup attempt, has created the need for more space in prisons.

“If they (the AK Party) remains in power, they will increase prison capacity by a further 500,000 beds by 2024,” Gergerlioğlu said.

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on February 20 that a total of 622,646 people have been the subject of investigation and 301,932 have been detained, while 96,000 others have been jailed due to alleged links to the Gülen group since a failed coup in 2016. The minister said there are currently 25,467 people in Turkey’s prisons who were jailed on alleged links to the group .