Prisoners in Turkiye make foods, clothes and souvenirs which are sold in specialty shops at very low prices. The products are available in a retail chain operating under the Justice Ministry’s prison work programme across Turkiye. There are some 20 shops of the Prison Workshops Institution in the capital Ankara alone.
The shops sell quality goods at much lower prices compared to other shops. A variety of foodstuffs are available, including butter, cheese, yogurt, olive oil, cereals, tahini, tea, juice, Turkish delight, spices and baked goods. Leather jackets, vests, bags and belts are also available in the shops,as are tablecloths, paintings and souvenirs.
Many Turkish citizens have taken to buying those inexpensive quality goods amid soaring inflation.
Workshops are operating in prisons, prison dormitories and detention centres. Prisoners can get vocational training or work as waiters in state cafes. For several years now, the products of the Prison Workshops Institution have been displayed at special fairs.
The Justice Ministry’s programme started in 1997 to help prisoners gain job skills needed for their reintegration in society upon release. The project also aims to teach the prisoners to be honest, loyal and respectful of other people’s rights.