Turkey shifting to open prisons over post-coup overcrowding

Turkey's prime minister says convicts with lighter sentences would be reassigned to open prisons to make room for the tens of thousands of arrests following July's failed coup.

Binali Yildirim told reporters on Friday that "there is some overcrowding due to the fight against terror," and the reassignment policy would not apply to major crimes such as terrorism, organized crime or child abuse.

The Ministry of Justice revised its regulation on Wednesday allowing for convicts sentenced to less than 10 years who achieve at least one month of good behavior could be reassigned to more comfortable open prisons.

Yildirim insisted the move was not an amnesty, and the length of the prison sentence would not change.

Over 41,000 people have been arrested during the state of emergency following the coup.