1 December 2009 /EMINE DOLMACI
The number of minors being held in Turkey’s prisons continues to increase, government officials have said. According to figures from the first half of 2009, there are 111,865 people in the country’s prisons. Of this figure, 2,622 are minors. A total of 276 permanent staff teachers provide an education to these school-aged children and, on average, each teacher is tasked with supervising the education of nine children.
Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin addressed a question put forth by the Education Personnel Union (Eğitim-Sen) on the right of imprisoned and convicted minors to an education while Prisons and Penitentiaries Deputy General Director Hüseyin Kulaç noted that 2,622 minors were being held in prison as of Oct. 31, 2009. More than half of the minors are in separate sections allocated for them in adult prisons.
While education services such as courses on reading and writing, preparation for formal and informal education, distance learning exams, university entrance exams and vocational courses are offered, minors are also able to benefit from social, cultural and sports activities as well as library and counseling services. The Directorate of Religious Affairs provides classes on religion and “moral knowledge” several days a week.