Bringing the detainees and convicts together with their families once a week, Van Tutku Radio has selected some of the poems from approximately 48 thousand letters sent from prisons and compiled them into books. On the cover of the book, birds drawn by a prisoner and flying to freedom from inside the cage were used.
Broadcasting in Van, Tutku Radio has compiled poems selected from approximately 48 thousand letters from detainees and convicts in prisons in different provinces of Turkey. The book titled “Poems from Four Walls to Passion”, which includes Kurdish and Turkish poems and has been published in a thousand copies, will be sent to poetry owners in prisons. In the radio program, which has been held regularly for 16 years, voice messages sent by the families of the prisoners are broadcast and the voices of the prisoners are conveyed, while the letters sent by the prisoners are read and a bond is established between the families and the prisoners.
Becoming the Voice of the Prisoners for 16 Years
Expressing that the ‘Four Walls’ program, which has been continuing for 16 years for prisoners in prisons, has attracted great attention, Radio’s Editor-in-Chief Salih Geçken said, “Very nice letters and poems come to our program from prisoners and convicts in prisons. We have started working to make them a book. We have put some of the poems in the 7 thousand letters received in the last year into a book. The purpose of choosing the letters in the last year was that they were not able to meet with their families due to the restrictions during the pandemic period, so we wanted to establish a bond. We have been doing the ‘Four Walls’ program for 16 years. We read the letters from the prisoners and convicts on the radio. Our broadcast once a week lasts 10 hours. We have been the voice of the prisoners for 16 years,” he said.
16 Years of Unending Interest
Stating that the interest has never decreased for 16 years, Geçken pointed out the following: “In the program we started with letters, we also included voice messages from families with the development of technology. Since we also broadcast on the Internet; We become a good bond among families who cannot come to visit due to distance, especially in Australia, USA, Iran, Canada, Germany and western provinces of Turkey. Every Sunday, we bring families and prisoners together for 8 hours.”
‘We will go to the prison and give the prisoners their books’
Emphasizing that the event is on stage for emotional moments, Geçken said, “We also witness emotional moments with voice messages. For example, a child sent to his father; crying, his message about missing him made us cry in the studio. We have published these emotionally charged letters into a book. Now we have applied to the Ministry of Justice. Our aim is to go to the prison and give these books to the inmates. If we do not get permission, we will send it to them by mail in the coming days,” he said.
Translator: Mehmet Akif Coşkun
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