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Poster: Cuneyt14 Date: Dec 19, 2010 8:46am
Forum: OneWebDay Subject: Debtor Prison in Turkey!

Since the Republic of Turkey was founded, it has experienced Islamic and ethnical conflicts. Right-wing and left-wing conflicts that began in 1970s among the people continued for 20 years and more than ten thousand people died in these conflicts which were experienced in every city, county and even village of the country.

On September 12th, 1980, a military coup seized power, and the oppressive junta arrested tens of thousand people across the country and these conflicts between the people were terminated.

Turkey constructed many prisons to establish its authority in this environment of conflict which had continued for seventy years. There are prisons in every city and county of the country.

In recent years, Turkey has been catching up with developments which took place around the world in the last century. When the world is changing, Turkey takes part in that change. Furthermore, when the world is changing, Turkey experiences that change two times. While it experiences the change in the world, on the other hand it also experiences a capitalization process.

In the last 30 years, in Turkey's process of capitalization, hundreds of thousands of businesses have been closed down, millions of people have lost their jobs, become impoverished or joined the ranks of the unemployed. A rapid monopolization is being experinced in the country and the people speedily become impoverished, and cannot pay their debts. A heavy prison sentence is applied for debtors in Turkey. In spite of the 38th article of the Turkish Constitution and the protocol provision in Annex 4 of European Convention on Human Rights, people are still imprisoned for up to 5 years in Turkey because of their debts. Hundereds of thousands of people are judged because they are debtor and imprisoned.

Turkey has a futures market system. Small sized businesses provide for their cash needs from companies called factoring (legal usurer) companies in consideration of a certain interest and sign an instrument called cheque showing that they are debtor. If repayment is not made by the business, factoring companies filing a criminal complaint to the attorney generalship and presenting the cheque to the attorney generalship are enough to arrest the debtor.

Hundres of thousands of people are judged because of their debts and imprisoned. Almost everyday suicides are reported on the news. The reactions of non-governmental organizations(NGO) are ignored by the members of parliament who are supported by factoring companies, and by the governmental authority.

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