Press Release regarding the Ministry of Justice, Prison and Detention Houses Directorate’s Press Release dated 3 Dec 2016

There have been numerous news regarding wrongful and illegal courses of action taken at Silivri Prison in which I am a detainee. In a twitter account opened under my name, it was stated, “Ahmet Turan Alkan has been in prison for the last 129 days and he is barred from reading books”. Upon release of this tweet, Ministry of Justice, Prison and Detention Houses Directorate released a press declaration on 3rd of December and claimed that the above expression is a lie.

I have only been informed of such a tweet and the relevant press release from my son and my lawyer during our meeting in Silivri.

Until the last three months we were able to obtain books from outside the Silivri Prison. The books which were mentioned in the press release of Ministry of Justice are the books which were brought by my son Talat Alkan during this period. Upon receiving the first set of books, getting books from outside has been prohibited.

Following this prohibition, I felt like I was breathless. For a detainee, especially for a person whose entire life was always dedicated to books, to prevent them from reading books is a real oppression. To prevent books from outside only works towards psychological depression of the detainee. Despite all I am still thinking that I may meet books in this prison and refuse to get psychiatric drug support.

On our arrival to the prison we have been submitted a book list and been informed that the books mentioned in this list can be supplied from the prison’s library. Although the list was far from our expectations, I have chosen some of the books and informed the duty officer. In each and every case, the answer was the same: “the books that you chose are in some other detainee’s possession’”. As this had been an ongoing issue as a protest I stopped asking for books. Thus, I am now reading the same books again and again, which my son had brought in initially.

The other way to reach the books is to buy from the prison’s in-house store which never worked until today.

Book ban is only for the people who were arrested with the allegation of ‘FETO’. There is no such ban for the rapists, burglars and killers. I am inviting the ministry to be fair.

I have been arrested without any accusation of any crime. I have been barred from any minor / basic rights of any detainee for the last five months. Whatever their allegations and accusations are, I am only a detainee. I am still waiting for the judgement and have no idea whenever it will be.

I am 63 years old. I always worked for my country and for a good future. Whatever I am facing is not upsetting or concerning for me personally, but the problem is these issues are widening and spreading all over my country.

My sincere regards to all my friends

Ahmet Turan Alkan
Detainee in Silivri

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