Turkey sees 7 percent rise in individual armed violence in 2016

Turkey sees 7 percent rise in individual armed violence in 2016

Turkey sees 7 percent rise in individual armed violence in 2016

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Individual armed violence in Turkey rose by 7 percent in 2016 compared with the previous year, according to statistics from Umut Foundation.

The foundation was established with the sole purpose of battling individual armed violence in Turkey that kills thousands every year.  

Some 2,720 armed incidents, reported by national and local media, occurred in 2016, killing 2,056 people and leaving 1,961 people wounded, which some have suffered critical conditions, the report said. No data was found on how many of those left heavily wounded had succumbed to their injuries. 

The number of armed incidents that was reported by media was 2,175 in 2015, with 1,951 getting killed and 1,286 getting wounded. 

The use of firearms in violent incidents increased by 7 percent in 2016, the statistics showed. Firearms were used in 78 percent of the incidents. Long barreled weapons, such as Kalashnikovs, were used in 43 percent of attacks, weapons were used in 30 percent, and service weapons were used in 5 percent. Some 22 percent of violent incidents were carried out with sharp objects, most of them were knives. 

The foundation said that police examinations revealed that the majority of violent and murder cases in Turkey go unnoticed by media. However, individual violence rises year-by-year. The foundation also drew attention to the fact that people chose violence instead of applying to legal courts over issues of debts. Drug gangs also take a large share in the violent incidents, according to the police.

Umut Foundation has called on authorities to limit the access to weapons by individuals in order to halt the worrying increase in violence. 

A map illustrating the occurrence of individual murders and violence based on geographical regions showed that Istanbul scored the highest rate in the Marmara region with a total of 246 incidents. Among Turkey’s northwestern provinces; Bursa followed Istanbul with 116 incidents, Kocaeli became the third with 108 incidents, Sakarya became fourth with 70 incidents and Tekirdağ took fifth place with 38 incidents. 

Among 18 Black Sea region provinces, Samsun topped the list of individual armed violence with a total of 166 incidents. Violence in Samsun was 400 percent higher than the second province on the list, Çorum. Samsun witnessed 41 incidents, while Trabzon experienced 37 incidents and Zonguldak reported 32 incidents. Samsun was the most violent province in the region in 2015. 

In the Mediterranean region, Adana topped the list as the most “vicious” province. Some 118 armed incidents took place in Adana in 2015, which rose to 141 in 2016. Antalya, a province visited by millions of tourists every year, was the second most violent one with 108 incidents, while Mersin took third place in violence. 

In the Aegean region, İzmir took the first place with a total of 130 incidents, which was followed by Aydın, Manisa, Denizli and Muğla. 

Konya became the first province in individual armed violence in the central Anatolian region with some 90 incidents being reported by the media. The capital of Ankara and Aksaray became second with a total of 72 incidents. The number in Aksaray was 13 in 2015. 

The list of the provinces in southeast Anatolia remained the same in 2015, with Gaziantep becoming the first. Şanlıurfa and Diyarbakır followed Gaziantep.

Malatya was the province with the most individual violence in eastern Anatolian, with 44 armed incidents.

Elazığ followed Malatya with 26 incidents.