Europe

Turkey to release 38,000 from jail; frees space for plotters

  • A pedestrian passes under a Turkish flag in Istanbul, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016. Turkish authorities have prepared an official request for the temporary arrest of United States-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen over his alleged involvement in the coup attempt on July 15, Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency said Saturday. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    A pedestrian passes under a Turkish flag in Istanbul, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016. Turkish authorities have prepared an official request for the temporary arrest of United States-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen over his alleged involvement in the coup attempt on July 15, Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency said Saturday. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

  • Relatives and friends of prisoners wait outside a high security prison complex in Silivri, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of Istanbul, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016. Turkey issued a decree Wednesday paving the way for the conditional release of some 38,000 prisoners, the justice minister said, an apparent move to reduce its prison population to make space for thousands of people who have been arrested as part of an investigation into last month's failed coup. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    Relatives and friends of prisoners wait outside a high security prison complex in Silivri, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of Istanbul, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016. Turkey issued a decree Wednesday paving the way for the conditional release of some 38,000 prisoners, the justice minister said, an apparent move to reduce its prison population to make space for thousands of people who have been arrested as part of an investigation into last month's failed coup. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

  • The back of a truck carries a poster portrait of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and reading ''The leader of this century may you speak, the whole world listening to you,'' passes the highway toll station in Istanbul, on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016. Turkey issued a decree Wednesday for the conditional release of some 38,000 low level prisoners, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said Wednesday, in a move being seen as reducing its prison population to make space for thousands of people arrested following last month's failed coup. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    The back of a truck carries a poster portrait of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and reading ''The leader of this century may you speak, the whole world listening to you,'' passes the highway toll station in Istanbul, on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016. Turkey issued a decree Wednesday for the conditional release of some 38,000 low level prisoners, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said Wednesday, in a move being seen as reducing its prison population to make space for thousands of people arrested following last month's failed coup. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

Turkey has issued a decree that will pave the way for the conditional release of some 38,000 prisoners in an apparent move to reduce its prison population to make space for coup plotters.

The decrees issued Wednesday introduce measures including the release of inmates who displayed good behavior and who have two years or less to serve of their prison terms. People convicted for murder, domestic violence, sexual abuse or crimes against the state are excluded.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said on his Twitter account the measure would lead to the release of some 38,000 people. He insisted it was not a pardon or an amnesty but a conditional release of prisoners.

Turkey has detained some 35,000 people for questioning over Turkey's July 15 failed coup attempt.