The rate of armed violence committed by individuals in Turkey increased by 28 percent in 2017 when compared with the previous year, according to a report by Umut Foundation, established with the sole purpose of battling individual armed violence in Turkey.
When compared with 2015, the rate of personal armed violence saw an increase by 61 percent.
In 2017, a total of 2,187 people were murdered and 3,529 people were injured in 3,494 incidents.
While the foundation gathers information from local and national news reports, and not from official sources, it said: “It is not possible to determine how many of the injured who were taken to hospitals later lost lives.”
Some 35.37 percent of the incidents involved guns, 0.03 percent involved dynamites, 3.32 percent involved service pistols, 40.7 percent of the crimes were committed with rifles, and the remaining 20.58 percent involved sharp objects, mostly knives, online news portal Bianet reported on Jan. 23.
The country’s Marmara region saw most crimes committed with personal arms, with 837 incidents in 2017.
In the Marmara region, Istanbul came first with 351 incidents, followed respectively by the provinces of Bursa with 116, Kocaeli with 108, Sakarya with 70, and Tekirdağ with 38.
Sakarya saw the biggest increase compared to 2016 in the number of armed violence among other Marmara provinces.
“It is seen that even in minor incidents people in Sakarya have taken up arms… The 67 percent increase in Sakarya, where 70 incidents were seen last year, stands out,” the report said.
The report listed the most violent Turkish provinces according to the number of armed violence incidents. Istanbul came first with 235 deaths and 316 injuries, the southern province of Adana was second with 123 deaths and 195 injuries, the western province of İzmir saw 114 deaths and 91 injuries, the southern province of Antalya with 101 deaths and 103 injuries, and the southeastern province of Gaziantep with 87 deaths and 115 injuries.
The report urged authorities to make weapons possessions more difficult through legal regulations in order to decrease the rate of violence, while stressing that weapons being shown in TV series was also a “worrisome” issue.
Umut Foundation has been preparing an “Armed Violence Report” every year since 2015.