Gun violence surged by over 74 percent in Turkey in last 6 years: report

Incidents of gun violence in Turkey increased by 74.7 percent between 2015 and 2021, resulting in the death of 2,145 people last year, Turkish Minute reported, citing a report by the Umut (Hope) Foundation, a leading advocate of gun control in Turkey.

Established in 1993 by Nazire Dedeman, the mother of Umut Dedeman, the teenage son of the prominent hotelier Dedeman family who was shot dead by a friend earlier the same year, the Umut Foundation is a civil society organization dedicated to reducing personal gun ownership in Turkey that prepares its reports based on information gathered from local media.

According to the foundation’s “Turkey Gun Violence Map 2021,” 3,801 violent incidents took place in the country in 2021, up from 2,175 in 2015 and reaching 19,373 in total within the period of six years.

While 2,145 people died in these 3,801 incidents, 3,896 more were injured, some of them seriously, the foundation said.

Firearms were used in 3,172 of the incidents, according to the report, while sharp objects such as knives were used in the remaining 629, according to the report.

The five provinces with the highest number of recorded gun violence incidents are İstanbul (477), the southern province of Adana (228), the Black Sea province of Samsun (222) and the western provinces of İzmir (154) and Bursa (149).

Umut Foundation board member Ayhan Akça told Birgün that individual weapons can only be eliminated by increasing punitive measures and that therefore the laws regulating gun ownership should be reviewed.

“There are about 25 million firearms [in Turkey]. One out of every two men and every three households has them. … 15 people are killed with firearms a day. … They are everywhere and easily available. … Regulations should be made to reduce, not increase, privately owned weapons,” he said.

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