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11 foreign inmates at large after temporary work release from Turkish prison

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Eleven foreign inmates who were convicted of committing various crimes in Turkey and allowed to leave prison temporarily failed to return on the appointed day and are considered to be at large, the Yeniçağ newspaper reported.

The inmates, who were serving their sentences in a minimum security prison, where they are given permission to leave for temporary periods to work, were supposed to return by November 30.

The group includes Afghans, Syrians, Pakistanis and Moroccans. The report did not say at which prison the inmates had been jailed.

The inmates were serving sentences ranging from six to 17 years on conviction of such crimes as theft, fraud and drug trafficking.

Yeniçağ shared court documents giving personal information on the inmates and the crimes of which they were convicted.

The daily said a countrywide search for the missing inmates has been launched by law enforcement.

Turkey is temporarily hosting 5 million displaced people, 3.5 million of whom are Syrians.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is being criticized for pursuing an open-door policy toward refugees who are shown by many as the cause of the social and economic ills in the society.

Many say the government’s open-door policy has made Turkey a safe haven for criminals as they express growing concerns about public safety.

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