THE LAWYER for the imprisoned Eren Erdem claims his client is not being allowed to see the printed version of the book he wrote.
The book, titled “İç” (Inside), was written by the deputy of the main opposition party, the Republican People’s Party (CHP).
Erdem was arrested on June 29 over terrorism charges. The denial to see the book is being enforced by prison authorities.
His lawyer, Onur Cingil, has called this “isolation and psychological oppression.” Erdem has been in jail for 238 days.
“I handed three copies of Erdem’s new book to the administration of Silivri No. 9 Prison, to be given to my client Erdem. That was almost ten days ago for him to see the printed version. The copies of Erdem’s book has not been delivered yet. It means the prison administration has imposed an embargo on Erdem’s book,” said a frustrated Cingil, in an interview with Cumhuriyet daily.
Cingil said: “Erdem receives other books through cargo or people directly bring books to the prison and he receives all these books for reading in a two to three days but there is no logical and lawful explanation of the present situation in which the authority prevents the book copies, which he authored, to reach him.”
Cingil said he won’t give up on this as he intends to make necessary applications to relevant authorities.
The CHP has been detained in Ankara after the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued a warrant, charged with terrorism.
Turkey’s 35th Heavy Penal Court is accusing Erdem (33) of “aiding a terrorist organization without being a member,” “revealing the identity of a secret witness,” and “violating the confidentiality of a criminal investigation”.
The outspoken Erdem exposed ISIS and al-Qaeda activities across Turkey and accused the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) of failing to nab terrorist activities and bring the jihadists to account. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has lashed out at Erdem and called him “traitor.”
Erdem started a hunger strike last month in protest against his arrest. He has also dismissed allegations of links with the Gulen Movement.
Constant criticism has been directed by local and international bodies on the lack of respect for human rights across Turkey’s prisons.
Turkey’s Human Rights Association (İHD) reported last August there are at least 1,154 ailing inmates, 402 of whom have serious illnesses in Turkish prisons.
Data by the Council of Europe’s (COE) shows Turkey’s prison population rate has increased by 191% between 2005-2015 due to changes introduced in the country’s Criminal Code.
It means the prisons’ capacity has tripled and inmates suffer in overcrowded cells with the lack of provision of basic services such as beds, enough water, medical treatment, and medicines.
Ankara has not only been harsh on Erdem, his father Hasan Erdem was last month fired from his job.