Gun violence in Turkey fails to slow down despite pandemic, report says
Some 2,040 people were killed and 3,688 were injured in incidents of gun violence in Turkey last year, according to a report by the Umut (Hope) Foundation, a prominent Istanbul-based non-governmental organization dedicated to reducing personal gun ownership.
Showing a horrific number of incidents of gun violence in the country despite pandemic isolations and COVID-19 restrictions, the report last year counted 3,682 incidents of gun violence involving armed civilians.
Firearms were used in 3,128 of these incidents and cutting and piercing tools were used in 554 of them, the report stated.
When compared to 2015 statistics, gun violence has increased by 69 percent in the last five years.
While the highest increase in gun violence is experienced in Central Anatolian provinces with 90 percent, an increase of 75 percent in the Marmara region and 71 percent in the Aegean region have raised worries.
Istanbul ranks first in the statistics, where 441 armed violence incidents in which 205 people died and 478 were injured in 2020 were reported in the media.
The top five cities with the highest numbers of recorded incidents are Istanbul, the Black Sea province of Samsun, the Mediterranean province of Adana, the Aegean province of İzmir and the northwestern province of Bursa, respectively.
In the report, it was seen that the capital Ankara, which was the second most violent province in the previous year, fell to ninth place.
“These figures reveal that the violence did not stop despite the pandemic and curfews, armed violence increased and the extent of individual gun ownership in our country,” the foundation said in a statement.
The foundation also urged state authorities for legal arrangements preventing individual gun ownership and to prevent impunity.