İHD held a press conference on 7 October 2021 to share with the public the results of the “Perception Study on Prisons and Prisoners in Turkey” conducted with 3,285 participants in 68 cities and 383 districts by KONDA Research and Consultancy Inc. for the association. The study reported remarkable results on the issue.
According to the results of the study:
- 39% of the participants believed that the treatment of prisoners was poor or very poor, while 26% disagreed. The rate of those who believed that overall the treatment of prisoners neither poor nor well was 35%.
- While 32% of the participants believed that prisoners’ access to healthcare services was poor or very poor, 37% believed that it was well or very well. The rate of those who believed that prisoners’ access to healthcare services was neither poor nor well was 30%.
- 43% of the participants were of the opinion that prisoners’ access to cultural and social rights was poor or very poor, while the rate of those who thought that it was well or very well was 27%.
- 44% of those who answered the questionnaire indicated that cleanliness and hygienic conditions in prisons were poor or very poor, while the rate of those who thought that they were well or very well was 25%. We observed that 30% of those who answered this question evaluated cleanliness and hygienic conditions in prisons as neither poor nor well.
- When we asked the participants to tell us how much they agreed with five sentences we read to them scoring these between 1 and 5, we saw that the public generally tended to disagree with the idea “Prisons heal, rehabilitate people.” (Mean 2.02)
- The idea that “People who are subjected to rights violations in prisons can seek/claim their rights” is one that people generally tended to disagree with. We saw that the mean figure for the tendency to agree with this idea by the society at large between 1 and 5 was 2.56.
- We observed that the idea the society agreed with most was “Prisoners’ placement in prisons close to their families.” We can say that the mean figure for the society’s agreement with this idea was 3.92 over 5. We saw that the mean figure for people’s tendency to agree with the idea “People are imprisoned because of their ideas in Turkey” was 3.75 over 5.
- We can also state that the society at large tended to neither agree nor disagree with the statement “Prisoners are subjected to ill-treatment” which is a more specific issue. (Mean 2.97)
- 69% of the society indicated that they did not trust the justice system in Turkey, while 31% stated that they did.
- One of the most important causes of distrust in the justice system within the general public was the idea that people were unfairly imprisoned in Turkey. 72% of the society believe that people are unfairly imprisoned.
- Strip search, which has often been voiced and has had quite wide media coverage recently, proves to be one of the issues that the society generally had no clear-cut idea and did not show any clear tendency to either agree or disagree with the fact that whether strip search was conducted or not (mean 3.15). Whether people were tortured in prisons is also another issue, just like strip search, that the society had not much information on or avoided expressing their opinions (mean 2.89).
- We saw that women, journalists, political dissidents, Kurds and Alevis were respectively among the groups that the society in general believed to be have been subjected to unfair treatment the most. 42% of the population in Turkey pointed to women as the group subjected to unfair treatment the most. “Journalists” with 35% and “political dissidents” with 33% followed women. The group that the interviewees believed to have been subjected to unfair treatment the least was “Sunnis” with 9%.
Click to read the full report in English: IHD-KONDA Report on Prisons and Prisoners 2021