Turkish Interior Ministry: 106,740 guns reported missing in 2017

A total of 106,740 guns were reported to be missing or stolen in 2017, according to a report by the Turkish Interior Ministry, raising concerns over the whereabouts of these guns and their potential illegal use.

The ministry’s 80-page activity report, the details of which were published by the pro-government Hürriyet daily on Thursday, also showed that TL 183.8 million was paid to civilians and public officials who were victimized by a controversial coup on July 15, 2016 that claimed the lives of 249 and injured a thousand others.

According to a report by the Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF), the lack of clarity behind the ballistics tests on the weapons used in the murder of civilians and troops still lingers. The paramilitary groups that took part in the clashes and which later appeared in various videos taken on the night of the coup were not identified, and how they were organized and mobilized remains a mystery. There were also reports that Turkish police distributed high-caliber weapons to civilians on the night the attempted coup took place.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and other civil servants since July 2016. Turkey’s interior minister announced on December 12, 2017 that 55,665 people have been arrested. On December 13, 2017, the Justice Ministry announced that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

A total of 48,305 people were arrested by courts across Turkey in 2017 over their alleged links to the Gülen movement, said Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on Dec. 12, 2017. “The number of detentions is nearly three times higher,” Soylu told a security meeting in İstanbul and claimed that “even these figures are not enough to reveal the severity of the issue.”

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