Who are these bullets for?
Opponents of armament are unhappy about the increasing to 1000 by the Interior Ministry of the annual 200 bullet purchase entitlement granted to civilians. CHP member of parliament Mehmet Tüm says, “One in three people has a gun. Where will these bullets be used?”
Public controversy is raging over the increasing to 1000 by the Interior Ministry of the annual 200 bullet entitlement granted to civilians. CHP Balıkesir member of parliament Mehmet Tüm, noting that he has brought self-armament onto the parliamentary agenda countless times but no measures have been taken, said, “One in three people has a gun. People including women are being murdered in the middle of the street with these guns. Guns are bought and sold like cheese and bread are bought from the grocer’s. Now the number of bullets citizens can buy has been increased. Where will these bullets be used? Everyone in the country is concerned for their safety of life and property.”
107,000 missing guns
For her part, representative of the We Will Stop Women’s Murders Platform, Gülsüm Kav, pointing out that more women are being murdered as self-armament increases, commented, “It is mostly women at the end of the barrel.”
Tüm, indicating that there are 25 million unregistered guns in Turkey, said, “There were 107,000 missing guns in 2017. Where are these guns? I have submitted parliamentary questions about this. But I have been unable to obtain a reply.” Tüm, stressing that the government must urgently take measures, said, “Helin Palandöken was killed in the middle of the street. The suspect said he had his gun delivered by courier.”
Urgent measures must be taken
Gülsüm Kav, pointing out that increased armament had directly lead to an increase in firearm-related killings in murders of women, said, “With society collectively up in arms against self-armament following the Helin Palandöken murder, I condemn the taking of a step in the totally opposite direction over a vital problem. The state has positioned itself as collaborator and inciter in these murders. Urgent measures must be taken.”
Hope Foundation executive board member, Dr. Ayhan Akcan, in turn, pointed to the existence of a demand for armament in society. Akcan, noting that, rather than this demand being hindered, there is more emphasis on the demand being met, commented, “The 15 July coup attempt is advanced to support armament. The thought is that, ‘The citizen will be prepared in the face of a coup.’ This is a mistake. A series of new regulations have been made in relation to this. The immediate entitlement to buy a gun while applying for a licence has been introduced. Citizens who have been removed or expelled from their posts under decrees with the force of law have been forbidden to bear arms.”
20 million, not 2.5
Akcan, emphasising that according to official figures there were 2.5 million guns among the population, pointed out that Umut Foundation data showed this figure to be in fact 20 million. Akcan said, “Armament is the cause of violence within the family. One in five gun owners use their gun in murders of women. Every year, nearly 750 women are killed with guns. Conversely, looking at women who have murdered their husbands, forty per cent of women serving prison sentences for murder killed their husbands with guns owned by their husbands. Guns are used mostly for violence within families and then in issues having to do with good name and debt recovery. One in three men in Turkey has a gun. Unfortunately, there is still demand and this demand is being met.”
THE NIGHTMARE GROWS FROM YEAR TO YEAR
According to Hope Foundation data, in Turkey individually-owned weapons cost the lives of more than four thousand people every year. There was media coverage of 3,494 armed incidents in 2017. This represents a 28 per cent increase in gun-related incidents as against 2016. With at least 2,187 lives being claimed in these incidents, 3,529 people were also injured, many of them seriously. With firearms used in 74 per cent of crimes committed with individually-owned weapons over the past two years, this percentage is verging on the eighties in 2017.
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