More than 2,000 police psychologically treated, says Turkey’s ombudsman report
AFP PhotoMore than 2,000 police officers have been treated for mental health disorders over the past five years, while 157 officers have committed suicide, according to Turkey’s official ombudsman’s report presented to the Interior Ministry.
The report prepared by the ombudsman revealed that 2,323 police officers have been treated for mental health disorders, 157 have committed suicide, 360 have changed their branches and five have been sent into retirement over the past five years, daily Habertürk reported.
The majority of police officers work long hours, according to ombudsman auditor Mehmet Elkatmış, who revealed that 63,000 police officers work on average 57 hours a week, 42,000 work 42 hours, and 79,000 work 45 hours.
In the European Union, a police officer works between 35 and 40 hours a week on average, whereas in Turkey public servants work around 40 hours a week on average.
While the average life expectancy in Turkey is 73.8 years, this figure decreases to 55 for police officers, according to the report.
Research conducted with 800 police officers in eight provinces revealed that 75 percent say their profession "destroys their psychological structure," while 40 percent believe their profession is "not respected within society anymore."
Ombudsman Nihat Ömeroğlu decided to send suggestions on how to improve working conditions for police officers to the prime ministry office and the interior and finance ministries. The suggestions include limiting police officers from working more than eight consecutive hours, paying money for overtime duties, providing police officers the necessary psychological support and drawing up new regulations about their schedules.