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People chant slogans as they gather at a pro-government rally in central Istanbul's Taksim square, Saturday, July 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

Turkey is releasing thousands from prison to make space for arrests from failed coup


The government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will release 38,000 prisoners to make space for thousands of people arrested as part of last month's failed coup.

An estimated 35,000 people have been detained for questioning related to the July 15 military-led uprising, and 17,000 have been formally arrested.

Overcrowded prisons

Only those with two years or less to serve will be let go, and those convicted of murder, domestic violence, terrorism and other crimes against the state will stay behind bars.

Most of Turkey's prisons were filled to capacity even before the coup last month.

Turkey has issued many such prison amnesties over the past decades to ease conditions in its crowded prisons. However, these amnesty measures have not been very popular with the Turkish public. 

This is what some on Twitter made of the announcement.

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