Turkey has issued a decree that will pave the way for the conditional release of some 38,000 prisoners in an apparent move to reduce its prison population to make space for coup plotters.
The decrees issued on Wednesday, introduce measures including the release of inmates who displayed good behavior and who have two years or less to serve of their prison terms. People convicted for murder, domestic violence, sexual abuse or crimes against the state are excluded.
Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said on his Twitter account the measure would lead to the release of some 38,000 people. He insisted it was not a pardon or an amnesty but a conditional release of prisoners.
Turkey has detained some 35,000 people for questioning over Turkey’s July 15 failed coup attempt.
Earlier in the day, Turkey had issued two decrees under emergency rule in which it dismissed more than 2,000 police officers and hundreds of members of the military and the BTK communication technology authority over the failed military coup.
Under previous emergency rule decrees, Turkey had already dismissed thousands of security force members as well as ordering the closure of thousands of private schools, charities and other institutions suspected of links to Gulen. The latest dismissals included 2,360 police officers, more than 100 military personnel and 196 staff in the BTK technology authority, according to the decrees, issued under a three-month state of emergency which came into force on July 21.
Alongside tens of thousands of civil servants suspended or dismissed, more than 35,000 people have been detained in a massive purge since the failed coup, when a group of rogue soldiers commandeered tanks, warplanes and helicopters in an attempt to overthrow the government.
With agency inputs