Turkey to release 38,000 prisoners to free jail space for coup plotters

Turkey to release 38,000 prisoners to free jail space for coup plotters

Turkey has issued a decree that will pave the way for the conditional release of some 38,000 prisoners in an apparent move to reduce its jail population to make space for coup plotters.

The decree, issued on Wednesday, introduces measures including the release of inmates who have displayed good behaviour and who have two years or less to serve of their prison sentences.

People convicted of murder, domestic violence, sexual abuse or crimes against the state are excluded.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said on his Twitter account that the measure would lead to the release of some 38,000 people. He insisted it was not a pardon or an amnesty but a conditional release of prisoners.

Turkey has detained some 35,000 people for questioning over Turkey's failed coup attempt on July 15.

On Tuesday, police launched simultaneous raids on 44 companies suspected of providing financial support to US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen's movement.

Turkey accuses Gulen of being behind the coup attempt, a claim he denies.

The Anadolu Agency said Tuesday's raids in Istanbul's Umraniye and Uskudar districts came after authorities issued warrants to detain 120 company executives as part of the investigation into the coup attempt.

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