Changing Cultures in Turkish Prisons: From the Ward System to the F-type Prisons

Karagöl, Yağmur
Topal, Çağatay
This study analyzes the ‘prison culture’ in the prisons in Turkey in terms of architectural design and political and economic context in Turkey. The case of prisons is examined with respect to the transition period from the ward system to the high-security cell-type prisons as a state policy. The concept of prison culture comes from the arguments of Gresham Sykes. He conceptualized this concept as determined by the internal deficiency of imprisonment and also as specific to penal institution. This conceptualization of Sykes is significant; however, it is accepted as inadequate by other sociologists. They show that prison culture is not only related with inherent deprivations of prison environment and there are also some other factors which have an impact on prison culture. Therefore, it is significant to make an analysis in terms of both an architectural design; that is, internal deprivations and also political and economic context in Turkey; that is, external factors. During the study, the snowball sampling is used and a qualitative research; that is, a semi-structured interview is realized with twenty people who experienced the ward system, the transition period from the ward to the cell, and the cell system. The experience of these three conditions is significant; because, each of them correspond different practices, so different cultures, in prisons due to change in the design of the prisons.
12th Conference of the European Sociological Association: Differences, Inequalities and Sociological Imagination (2015)


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Citation Formats
Y. Karagöl and Ç. Topal, “Changing Cultures in Turkish Prisons: From the Ward System to the F-type Prisons,” presented at the 12th Conference of the European Sociological Association: Differences, Inequalities and Sociological Imagination (2015), Prag, Çek Cumhuriyeti, 2015, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: