Crime and violence

Crime and violence

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government made amendments in 2004 and 2007 in the Law on Police Powers to harmonize with the European Union norms. 

The Code of Criminal Procedure (CMK) was issued in 2004 and the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) went into effect in 2005; both of these major laws were written according to EU standards.  

Those years were when the reformist side of the AKP was being applauded in the West and even held up as an example to the Islamic world. However, in recent years, all the laws the AKP has issued in these fields have gone in the opposite direction. For this reason, the old applause in the West has died down; now it is criticized for being authoritarian. Certain articles in the Homeland Security Bill that are being debated are an example of this.

I am aware of the inconveniences Prime Minister and Professor Ahmet Davutoğlu is facing but, nevertheless, I want to submit this to his attention: Social peace is showing signs of a breakdown.

According to Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) data, the number of those arrested and convicted in 2000 was nearly 51,000. This figure was 67,000 previously but it went down to 51,000 because of what is called the “Rahşan amnesty.” In 2013, this figure was 144,098. 

There is a slight downward trend in 2004 and 2005 because of certain amendments; otherwise, the figures show a rapid hike in violence and crime.

Indeed the role of arrangements concerning enforcement has a role in this sharp climb; for instance probation has been made difficult, causing the number of those arrested and convicted to soar.
However, there are other arrangements which toughen arrests and facilitate releases. The climb in figures is mainly because of factors such as the disintegration of the social fabric and political polarization as well as “technical” reasons cited above. It is a sociological fact that in the first couple of generations of urban life, the social fabric has deteriorated and the tendency to crime and violence has increased. 

Violence against women has reached horrendous dimensions, while the number of minors who have been brought into security units is constantly increasing …

This does not have anything to do with enforcement laws.

The alarming issue is the increase in “social incidents;” these are manifestations of the political tension in the society. If the tear gas consumption of the police is released based on year, we will see the same facts.

Is there a day that has passed without us watching yet another social incident in the television news?
Investigations and arrests related to “insulting the president” have never been so ubiquitous in our history compared to the past six months. All these climbs show the dimensions the political tension has reached. If this climb continues at this pace, we may as well be dragged into the grave phase of what political scientists call “unmanageableness.”

Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç warned as much. I am sure there are many others in the government who feel this and who consider that a change in policy is necessary but they cannot talk like Arınç.

If this continues on like this, which criminal measures will bring peace and tranquility to the country? Professor Davutoğlu knows the answer better than anybody else; the answer is none…

Turkey’s 11th president, Abdullah Gül, like a mature statesman, warned that the package should be reviewed. This could have been a good occasion for dialogue with the opposition, but the government is surging forward at full speed.

To avoid being dragged into a worse environment, instead of the angry language in politics and politically discriminative behavior, it is a must that a civilized language and inclusive attitude be adopted.