10 percent rise in weapons used by civilians in Turkey in first three months of 2017
ANKARAThe number of weapons used by civilians in Turkey rose by 10 percent in the first three months of 2017, according to statistics released by the Interior Ministry.
The total number of licensed weapons used by civilians reached 338,052 with the increase, the ministry said upon a parliamentary question regarding individual arming by independent lawmaker Aylin Nazlıaka.
When the number of renewed, newly-bought and transferred licensed weapons is examined for the first three months of 2017, it is seen that there are 71,202 weapons in Istanbul. It was followed by the capital Ankara with 50,084 weapons, the western province of İzmir with 12,574, the Black Sea province of Trabzon with 10,273, the southeastern province of Gaziantep with 10,063, the southern province of Antalya with 8,171, the northwestern province of Kocaeli with 7,918, the Central Anatolian province of Konya with 7,462 and the southeastern province of Diyarbakır with 6,119.
When submitting her parliamentary question, Nazlıaka referred to statistics released by the Umut (Hope) Foundation, established with the sole purpose of combatting individual armed violence in Turkey, which kills thousands every year.
Nazlıaka cited the Umut Foundation’s report on 2016, which stated that there are nearly 20 million individual weapons in circulation in Turkey, of which 85 percent are unlicensed. The foundation stated that there are 2.5 million licensed weapons and 17 million unlicensed weapons.
“What was the number of weapons across Turkey at the end of 2011 and what was the number at the end of 2016? What was the number by March 2017?” Nazlıaka asked.
According to the Interior Ministry, the number of renewed, newly-bought and transferred licensed weapons was 614,440 at the end of 2011, of which 124,565 were carried by public personnel, 87,662 were carried by retired public personnel. Some 24,927 used for personal safety purposes, 84,508 for professional purposes, 288,347 were possession-only, and 1,431 were rifles. The total number of weapons used by civilians was 292,768 in 2011, according to the statistics.
The number rose over the next five years, according to the ministry statistics, reaching 692,921 in 2016. Of those, 159,343 were carried by public personnel, 116,090 were carried by retired public personnel, 27,528 used for personal safety purposes, 81,664 for professional purposes, 297,067 were possession-only, and 11,229 were rifles. Accordingly, a total of 308,296 weapons belonged to civilians in Turkey at the end of last year.
That number rose by a further 10 percent in the first three months of this year, reaching 338,052.
Speaking about the ministry’s reply, Nazlıaka said “the reasons for the increase should be analyzed well.”
“The increase in the first three months doesn’t stem from society’s sense of justice. It is well-known that some politicians and pro-government people called on the people to arm themselves after the July 15, 2016 coup attempt. Now, one in every four people in our country is armed. The only solution to preventing individual arming is justice and the healthy functioning of a state of law with all its institutions and laws. Individual arming can only bring pain,” Nazlıaka added.