Over 1,500 Turks killed by individual gun violence in first 8 months of 2017
More than 1,500 people were killed by individual gun violence in the first eight months of 2017, according to data gathered by the Umut Foundation.
The data, which was released to mark World Disarmament Day on Sept. 28, also showed that individual armament increased by 27 percent compared to last year.
The Umut Foundation’s report was prepared with information gathered from national and local media regarding gun violence.
“Unfortunately, we were faced with the reality that individual armament increased due to the lack of precautions in our country,” a statement released from the foundation read, adding the last day included in the report was Sept. 22.
According to the incidents that took place in the media from the beginning of 2016 until Sept. 22, 2016, a total of 1,990 murders were committed, whereas 2,525 incidents stemming from individual armament took place from the beginning of 2017 until Sept. 22.
In the same time period this year, 1,575 people were killed due to gun violence and 2,670 others, including some that were heavily wounded, were injured. The foundation noted that there is no data on how many of those wounded and taken to hospitals succumbed to their injuries later on.
The report said there are 25 million individual weapons in Turkey, of which 85 percent are unlicensed.
“Maybe we are estimating the number lower than it actually is,” the report said.
The foundation also gave examples from several cases, including many incidents of violence against women.
This year, “a woman was killed for the first time with dynamite,” it said, referring to the killing of Nurcan Demiröz in the southern province of Adana, adding that a total of 272 women died and 147 others were wounded in the 265 days starting from Jan. 1 until Sept. 22.
According to the foundation, the problem of individual armament is being ignored in Turkey, thus the number is steadily increasing. The lack of deterrent punishments, low price of weapons, ease in obtaining an unlicensed weapon from the internet and not enough effort to raise awareness on the issue contribute to the rise of individual armament.
“We, as the Umut Foundation, would like to stress once again that the sentences on obtaining unlicensed weapons are insufficient. In addition, the sentences given are either postponed by the court or turned into fines. Moreover, a high number of individuals who wound or kill people with unlicensed weapons are out there due to prisons filled over capacity,” the foundation said. It urged authorities to make regulations that introduce deterrent sentences against individual armament.