Hacı Bişkin / DUVAR

Sick prisoners in Turkey are being denied treatment, with their relatives urging authorities to take action on the issue.

There are a total of 1,333 sick prisoners in the country, with 457 of them severely ill, according to the Human Rights Association, which said that majority of the sick prisoners are either political convicts or arrestees.

Although parliament started discussing a bill that would lead to the release of thousands of convicts and arrestees, sick prisoners in jail on political charges won’t be released since the bill excludes political prisoners.

The government’s bill aims to vacate the country’s overcrowded prisons amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

One of the sick prisoners, Sabri Kaya, was hospitalized after having a heart attack and was taken into intensive care for five days in the southern province of Osmaniye. He was sent back to prison afterwards.

Speaking about Kaya’s condition, his daughter Dilan Kaya said, “My father is face to face with death.”

“There is the danger of an outbreak in prisons. I’m concerned about my father’s life. He can’t take care of himself. I tried speaking with him on the phone recently, but he was unable to express himself,” Kaya told Duvar, as she criticized authorities for excluding political prisoners.

“We want an equal penal law. I want my father’s sentence to be postponed. There should be no discrimination,” she added.

Another sick prisoner denied treatment is Mehmet Salih Filiz, who suffers from bowel cancer in the Ödemiş district of the western province of İzmir.

Filiz said that he hasn’t been receiving any treatment since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in Turkey, adding that he has no access to medication.

Filiz’s brother, Şehmus Filiz, called on the authorities to provide treatment for his brother, saying that his condition is life threatening.

Civil Society in Penal System Association made plenty of applications to the Justice Ministry and Presidential Communications Center in order for sick prisoners to be treated.