ISTANBUL - Saying that Turkey ranks 11th in the world in terms of armed violence, Umut Foundation Board member Dr. Ayhan Akcan stated that weapons are mostly used against women.
September 28 is commemorated as the "World Individual Disarmament Day" every year around the world. According to the "Turkey Armed Violence Map 2021 Report" prepared by the Umut Foundation, which carries out various studies to prevent individual armament, by compiling the violence news from local and national newspapers, it published a report saying that 2 thousand 145 people lost their lives and 3 thousand 896 people were injured in armed incidents in 2021. According to the report of the foundation, firearms were used in 85 percent of the violence incidents, and sharp objects were used in 15 percent of the incidents. Umut Foundation Board Member Dr. Ayhan Akcan made evaluations about individual armament in Turkey and how to fight against it.
THERE ARE ARMS IN ALMOST ONE THIRD OF RESIDENCES
Noting that there are approximately 750 million civilians in the world that owns weapons, Akcan said: "This number is around 25 million in Turkey. There are arms in almost one third of residences when we look at the data on crimes committed with guns due to its prevalence, unfortunately, almost one of the 3 families has a history of gun-related violence. They are either dead, killed or injured. Individual armament is such a serious and social problem."
Stating that it is claimed that there is a decrease in individual armament according to the data of the Ministry of Interior, but the data of the foundation indicates the opposite, Akcan said: "But when we look at the data of the Umut Foundation, there is an increase of 3-5 percent in gun-related crimes every year. Our data shows that individual armament is increasing in Turkey."
GUNS ARE MOST USED AGAINST WOMEN
Stating that in 18 percent of the incidents with guns, the guns are used in violence against women, Akcan said: "60 percent of the weapons are used against women, children and vulnerable people. This is a serious problem.
Approximately 15 people are killed and 25 injured in armed incidents in Turkey every day. Turkey ranks 11th in the world in terms of armed violence."
'CIVILIAN ARMAMENT SHOULD BE LIMITED'
Expressing that the culture of reconciliation and law should be brought forward, Akcan said: "Civilian armament should be limited. Our goal is to ultimately ban it. If this cannot happen, unfortunately, we cannot create both the culture of reconciliation, the rule of law, or the idea that when there is a problem, the law will solve the problem. Weapons exist in every field in Turkey. Unfortunately, because it is in every field, so there is suicide with weapons. There are armed incidents in traffic and at home. That is why it is widely used and confronts us as a serious problem. 70 percent of those who buy guns in Turkey buy them to feel safe and to act as a deterrent but this has nothing to do with practice. When a person bought a weapon. They uses it in a small argument and commits murder. It's not the weapon which is to protect people, it's the mind."
'THERE IS A SERIOUS DECREASE OF CONFIDENCE IN THE LAW'
Saying that people in Turkey have a serious decrease in their confidence in the police, gendarmerie and the law, Akcan said: "The confidence in the point of 'police and gendarmerie ensure the safety of our life and property' was around 50 percent in 2000, but now it has dropped to 40 percent. The most important point is that we have to be an element of pressure here. It should be that the state's law enforcement forces should be more equipped, active and reassuring in terms of protecting our life and property safety. When we buy weapons, we cannot protect ourselves. There is no such thing. If there is a gun, you are inviting violence. If you have a gun, you have at least 5 times the probability of committing suicide. You have a 12x chance of committing murder. There is no the logic that civilians will protect themselves with weapons, they will control their anger, they will not commit murder or it will be a deterrent. Logic has nothing to do with practice."
WHAT MEASURES CAN BE TAKEN IN ARMAMENT?
Reiterating that individual armament should be banned, Akcan said:"A public service ad should be made. The measures to be taken to prevent armament should be. A person should know that shooting into the air is also the possibility of committing murder and that they can be prosecuted. A crime report line should be established. It is necessary to conduct a serious health examination without giving a gun. The man who buys a gun at home must get permission from the woman. When the license to carry is obtained, a reference request must be obtained from the law offices or the company's lawyer. We know that in social events, the person who owns a gun can commit suicide or commit murder when he goes bankrupt, goes through the process of divorce or has any mental illness, depression or serious substance abuse. In order to speed up the seizure at that moment, simple measures such as post-license training requirement, post-license home inspection obligation, keeping guns and bullets locked in separate safes should be taken. In this way, a 50 percent reduction in gun-related violence in Turkey can be achieved. Increasing the penalties also plays a deterrent role in the use of weapons. The deterrent penalties should be increased."
MA / Rukiye Adiguzel