Over half of all prisoners in North Cyprus are foreigners

Foreigners are increasingly behind crimes being committed in the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (TRNC), according to a report by Turkish Cypriot daily Yenidüzen (584 mahkumun 315’i, 40 farklı ülkeden!, 21 Aug. 2021).

According to the paper, there are a total of 584 offenders currently jailed for crimes committed or are suspects being held on remand until trial. Of these, just over half – 315 prisoners –  are foreign born and originate from 40 different countries.

The 315 foreign-born felons are further broken down by Yenidüzen, which writes that 146 are from Turkey, while the other 169 are “citizens of distant countries”.

The remaining 269 home-grown prisoners are either Turkish Cypriots, or are of mixed Turkish-Turkish Cypriot heritage.

Another aspect highlighted in the Yenidüzen report is that most of the 169 prisoners of foreign extraction are of African origin, many of them first arriving in the TRNC on student visas.

The paper states it obtained the figures and information about the prisoners from the Central Prison.

The prisoners are all detained at the increasingly overcrowded Central Prison and Correctional Facility (KKTC Merkezi Cezaevi) in the capital Lefkoşa.

A new prison is being built at a cost of 75 million TL to replace the existing one, which opened in 1982. The new facility, which is nearing completion and built with Turkey’s financial support, will be able to accommodate up to 765 people: 500 males, 100 women, and 65 children, with 100 others held in more open prison conditions.


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