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LOCAL > Judge sentences petty criminals to plant trees: Report

AFYONKARAHİSAR - Milliyet

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nstead of merely releasing felons on probation, Mehmet Gülçek is sentencing them to plant trees.

nstead of merely releasing felons on probation, Mehmet Gülçek is sentencing them to plant trees.

Petty crime is helping the inner Aegean province of Afyonkarahisar become greener, thanks to the unusual rulings of a penal judge in the city. Instead of merely releasing felons on probation, Mehmet Gülçek is sentencing them to plant between a couple hundred and a thousand trees, daily Milliyet reported April 6. 
 
Gülçek also includes the obligation of maintaining those trees for six month to a year. “If charity is done, it should be fully done. There is no such thing as planting and taking off just like that,” he said, jokingly, daily Milliyet reported. 
 
However, not every felon is entitled to such a sentence. Gülçek listed his criteria for passing such a sentence as having a clean criminal sheet, showing repentance and displaying a willingness to repair damage that has been caused. As for the trees, they are supplied by the Forestry and Water Works Ministry rather than coming from the culprits themselves.  

Gülçek explained that he considered the idea while working in the serious crimes department but did not have the opportunity to put it into practice. 

In just one year, he has meted out nearly 60 such sentences, and 40,000 trees have been planted as a result, Gülçek said. “If one thousand courts did this in one year, Turkey would gain 40 million trees. If my colleagues support this practice, in 10 years we will transform Turkey into the Amazon.”

April/06/2013

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Ferit

4/8/2013 12:25:54 PM

Turkey needs to open up an industry of tree planting and offer fair wages on a per tree basis.

dogan kemal ileri

4/7/2013 1:47:48 PM

I am in favour of getting petty criminals to serve on community projects where they can be useful members of society which will inevitably rub off rather than banging them up in costly prisons.They should also confront and apologise to their victims like they are forced to de in the USA. Like Michele the judge here is my hero.

michele suzanne

4/6/2013 5:37:45 PM

What an absolutely FANTASTIC idea! This judge gets the thumbs up from me. Not only is this a great thing for the environment but it also teaches the offender about nature and a gives him/her time to reflect on his offence/s. Every judge, everywhere should do the same (for petty crimes).
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