High Proportion of African Nationals in Prison

New Central Prison
[New Central Prison]
Thursday, 1 December 2022

Around 40 percent of prison inmates in the new Central Prison are African nationals, President of the Cyprus Turkish Bar Association (KTBB) Hasan Esendağlı has said, Kibris Postasi reports.

The president of KTBB visited the prison in Minareliköy, which was opened about one month ago and Kibris Postasi has reported on his comments and observations as follows:

“Today, as the Cyprus Turkish Bar Association, we made a visit to the Central Prison, which became operational about a month ago.

As we always say, the construction of more or bigger prisons in a country is not a matter of pride, it is an event to be ashamed of. This shame, of course, should belong to those who are responsible for maintaining security in the country and reducing the crime rate. Those who cannot fulfil this responsibility; Unfortunately, it can present the construction of a larger prison as an action.

Although this is the case; It was a fact that the construction of a new prison was essential in the face of the vital negativities caused by the inadequate, unhealthy, secluded and ruined condition of the old prison, far from the most basic humane living conditions, for the convicts, detainees and even prison staff.

Hasan Esendağlı went on to comment about the length of time it had taken to install prisoners in the new Central Prison, the construction of which began in in January 2018. He said that the state had taken over after the contractors, who were given the job in Ankara, left the construction without fully completing it. Therefore, it had taken a long time to install the prisoners in the new prison building.

Esendağlı said that conditions had been squalid in the old Nicosia Central Prison and welcomed the fact that in the new building, there are separate accommodations for men, women and children.

But he lamented the fact that there was no proper provision for juvenile inmates because of staff shortages. Hence there was no education, arts and vocational training or sports activities. Additionally, there was no child psychologist, doctor or lawyer regularly available to serve the prison. 

With regard to prison numbers and the fact that around 40 percent of inmates were African nationals, Esendağlı said that immigration controls were inadequate and that the problem should not be underestimated.


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