Gun violence increased slightly last year: Report
Incidents of armed violence have slightly increased last year compared to previous years across the country, according to a report released by a prominent Turkish non-governmental organization dedicated to reducing personal gun ownership.
The report released by the Umut (Hope) Foundation shows that the rate of gun violence committed by individuals in Turkey has increased by around 3 percent in a year despite awareness campaigns against violence by authorities.
A total of 3,801 incidents of gun violence occurred throughout the country just in 2021, according to the report titled “Turkey’s Armed Violence Map 2021,” which also noted that this number was 3,682 in 2020.
The report also underlined that 2,145 people were killed and 3,896 were severely wounded in gun violence incidents last year, an indicator showing that the number of killed has decreased but the number of injured has increased compared to the previous year.
It also noted that cutting or piercing tools were used in 15 percent of violent incidents.
The Marmara is the top region to have the highest number of gun violence incidents, while the Mediterranean stands out as the region with the highest increase in armed violence.
A total of 958 incidents were recorded in the Marmara region last year, and this number was 551 in the Mediterranean region.
The top five cities with the highest number of recorded incidents are Istanbul, the Mediterranean province of Adana, the Black Sea province of Samsun, the Aegean province of İzmir and the Marmara province of Bursa, respectively.
In its report, the foundation called on authorities to make legal arrangements that would reduce, not increase, individual armament.
“Prevent the murderers who kill and injure people from walking outside freely. Avoid impunity. Prevent city thugs from using weapons at weddings, soldier send-offs and various entertainments,” the report noted.
The report stressed that these “city thugs” should know that they cannot escape with only a small fine and that they will end up in prison when they take the gun.
In the report, the foundation demanded that justice and the rule of law be upheld in order to prevent the victimization of hundreds of families whose loved ones were killed and injured in gun violence.
“Prevent suffering. Ensure that people and animals who are victims of city thugs live in peace and security,” the foundation noted.
The organization often claims there are at least 20 million guns in Turkey and that the majority of them are unlicensed.