Kırıkhan inmates try hand at tie production

Kırıkhan inmates try 
   hand at tie production

Trained by a tailor-turned guard, prison inmates are now producing handmade silk ties.

July 19, 2008, Saturday/ 19:46:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN WITH WIRES
A guard at an open prison in the southern province of Hatay has introduced a new constructive recreational and rehabilitation activity for inmates: silk tie production.
After noticing a surge in the demand for ties, the Kırıkhan prison, located in the district of the same name, applied to the Turkish Patent Institute for the brand name "Kır-aç," an abbreviation of prison's name.

Warden Yusuf Altun told the Anatolia news agency that prison staffers are working to help inmates learn the skills they will need in society upon their release. The prisoners at Kırıkhan must go through training courses for at least two trades, Altun noted, adding that the facility offers 10 courses in different areas.

Altun noted that silk production is prevalent in the region. "We had courses in arboriculture and carpentry, but we wanted to initiate a project in another sector, one which is common on our province. Thus, when we received a new guard who used to be a tailor, we saw the opportunity to go into silk tie production. First, we offered tailoring courses to the prisoners with the support of a public education center in our province. In the courses, the prisoners sewed very nice silk ties and we introduced their products to the public in exhibitions organized by the Justice Ministry. Our ties drew considerable attention, and they have been in high demand since then," stated Altun. Altun said they are selling the ties for between YTL 7 and 10 and that they purchased by members of the public and institutions that require employees to wear uniforms, also noting that the inmates earn money from the project and contribute to the economy.

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