The fact that 3,000 prosecutors and judges are among those who have been placed under arrest in the wake of the coup has made it even harder to process the accused.
Civil rights groups have expressed concern over conditions in the prisons. “In order to make space, they are piling people on top of each other,” said Mustafa Eren, chairman of the Civil Society in the Penal System Foundations said on 5 August.
Turkey’s prison population has exploded under President Tayyip Erdogan’s AKP. There were 188,000 prisoners in Turkey as of March, already more than capacity. Some 35,000 people have been detained for questioning since July and more than 17,000 of them have been formally arrested.
On 16 August, Turkish police launched raids on 44 companies suspected of supporting Gulen – 120 company executives were detained as part of the sweep.