108 soldiers commit suicide since 2012, Turkish defense minister says
MALATYA – Doğan News Agency
The Turkish defense minister said that more than 900 soldiers committed suicide in the past ten years. DHA photoThe Turkish defense minister said that 166 soldiers have committed suicide or been killed in accidents across the country in the last year and a half, while more than 900 soldiers committed suicide in the past ten years.
A total of 108 soldiers commit suicide between Jan. 1, 2012 and July 15, 2013, Turkish Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz said in a written statement in response to the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Malatya deputy Veli Ağbaba’s parliamentary question over the issue. In the same time period, 40 soldiers were killed in weapon accidents, one soldier was killed in an occupational accident and 17 others died in accidents such as poisoning, drowning, fighting or falling, according to the minister’s statement.
The number of Turkish soldiers who committed suicide between 2002 and 2012 was 934, according to the minister.
“In 2012, 69 privates committed suicide while this number is 39 between January and July in 2013. The state is responsible for the security of these young people who serve the military. The suicide cases should be investigated,” said CHP deputy Ağbaba.
Ağbaba said there was an attempt to cover up the killings of soldiers in their military posts. “Some cases first reported as suicide later turn out to be killings caused by gunshots by other soldiers. Such cases must be investigated and false statement must be avoided,” said Ağbaba.
Ağbaba also called on the Defense Ministry to make efforts to ensure the physical and psychological health of the soldiers.