There are 18 million unregistered guns in Turkey, comprising 89 percent of the firearm ownership in the country, the chairman of an association that has led a three-decade campaign against possession of firearms, Ayhan Akçan said.
The Turkish government has been dragging its feet in preventing gun possession, Akçan of the Umut Foundation said, referring to a clause for the prevention of firearm possession in an omnibus bill introduced to Turkish parliament on Monday by the country’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
“A total of 89 percent of firearms in Turkey are not registered. [Customers] purchase them on the black market. They are purchased thinking ‘it may be needed,’ and we have seen a surge in sales as of late, especially after the increase in terror attacks,’’ T24 news site quoted Akçan as saying, in an apparent reference to the string of terror attacks that rocked the country in 2015.
A recent report released by the Umut Foundation shows that the rate of gun violence committed by individuals in Turkey has increased by 69 percent over the past four years.
Some 3,679 incidents of armed violence occurred in 2018, leading to the death of 2,279 people while severely injuring 3,762 others.