The AKP government is in preperation of releasing thousands of prisoners — possibly up to 100,000 — in order to stem Covid-19 infection, the Turkish media reported. Turkey has a total of 384 prisons.

According to the report, political prisoners who are convicted or being held in pre-trial detention over Gulen links, are exempted.

The number of prisoners who have been convicted over links to the Gulen group totals 38,470, according to Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül. The corresponding figure for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) convicts is 10,079.

Turkish government blames the Gulen group for the 2016’s failed coup while the latter denies involvement.

More than 95,000 people have been jailed pending trial over Gulen ties so far.

Based on figures provided by the Justice Ministry, 229,790 people are in prisons with a total capacity of 207,339. Only 141,802 out of the 229,790 have been convicted of a crime.

Another report last year stated that the total prison population had exceeded 224,000 while prison capacity is 202,000.

Wife calls on Turkish authorities to release jailed Kurdish politician Demirtaş 

Başak Demirtaş, the wife of former co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtaş, who is currently imprisoned on charges of terrorism, has called on the Turkish authorities to release her husband due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Selahattin Demirtaş was the HDP’s co-chairperson when he was jailed on Nov. 4, 2016 along with several other party deputies as well as the party’s other co-chairperson, Figen Yüksekdağ.