Opposition slams construction of prison with lake view in Van, says gov't should address people's real needs

A group of opposition politicians slammed the construction of a 90-million-lira prison with a lake view in the eastern province of Van which government officials deemed "an investment." The opposition noted that the region has far more pressing needs than prisons and that hundreds of jails have been already built in recent years in Turkey.

Duvar English

A group of opposition politicians slammed the 90-million-lira construction of a prison with a view of the lake in eastern province of Van which the government deemed "an investment."

The prison is being built on 64,000 square-meters of land and is planned to house a total of 1,260 inmates, Van Governor Emin Bilmez and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy Abdulahalat Arvas said after touring the construction site that has a view of Van Lake.

The AKP committee is seen on the site of the prison construction.

Main opposition Republican Peoples' Party (CHP) Van Chairman Mehmet Kurukçu slammed the massive budget for the prison construction, saying that this money should have been directed to the real needs of the area.

"You could have built highways, bus terminals, stadiums or factories for 90 million liras. I have no words to say if a province's decades-long issues remain unsolved and the government is praising a prison," Kurukçu said.

Meanwhile, pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Van deputy Muazzez Orhan noted that some 166 prisons had been built in Turkey in the past four years, and another 48 prison construction projects were pending.

"Turkey has become an open prison. The people of this country need equality, democracy and freedom," Orhan said.

The deputy added that the AKP government's true intentions were to punish and not solve problems, and that prisons are used as leverage against Kurdish people and politics.