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Individual armament rate is alarming

There are 25 millions of weapons in Turkey and 85 per cent of these are unregistered. Every day an average of 6 people are killed by these individual weapons or stabbed to death. One can access weapons through a single click. A rifle costs 1200 TLs, its fine is only 500 TLs. Konya Beyşehir draws attention in the production of unregistered weapons.

İrfan Uçar

The call for armament, which Sedat Peker, who was sentenced for being the leader of an organized crime gang, that is colloquially known as ‘mafia’, made during the local election process, turned attentions to the individual armament. Data shows that individual armament has experienced a substantial increase and access to a gun is as close as a “single click” through internet.

Ebru İlke Bingör

Ebru İlke Bingör, coordinator of Umut Foundation, which is widely known for its research about individual armament and crimes committed with those weapons, draws attention to the 69 per cent increase in murder and injuries committed with those weapons in last 4 years. Bingör states that there have been 2 thousands and 157 armed assault which were reflected in the press and that mounted to 3 thousands and 679 in 2018.


Bingör declares that 2 thousands and 279 people were killed with rifle, gun and by stabbing and 3 thousands and 762 were injured in 2018. In other words, an average of 6 people are being killed with guns and stabs in a day. Bingör draws attention to the fact that number of people those first have been injured and taken to hospital and died later is excluded from those numbers.

She underlines that 40 per cent of murders are committed with rifles, 39 percent with guns and 21 percent by stabbing and points that there is no official statistics derived and shared with public opinion about murders committed with guns and stab.


Bingör, Coordinator of Umut Foundation states that there are 25 millions of guns at least and 85 percent of these are unregistered and the difficulty of reaching a net number and says: “There is a substantial increase in owning rifle. In recently committed murders we see that even children can acquire weapon through internet and weapons are being sent to their addresses directly.”


Gamze Akkuş İlgezdi

Gamze Akkuş İlgezdi, Vice President of RPP (CHP), submitted a legislative proposal to Parliament for drawing attention to deaths and injuries resulted from individual guns and declaration of 2019 as Individual Disarmament Year. In her justification note, İlgezdi states that between 2007-2017, Forensic Medicine Institution  had done 75 thousands and 265 examinations about gunshot injuries and 18 thousands and 264 examinations of corpse. İlgezdi indicates that there has been 35 percent increase in examination of corpse and 22 percent in injuries and underlines that when compared to previous year, there has been 35 percent increase in gunshot injuries in 2017.

İlgezdi states that between 2006 and 2017, 62 thousands and 34 people were convicted for murder and put into prison, and people who were convicted for injury reached to 192 thousands and 11 in same period.

She reminds that 563 thousands and 272 people were suspects and these people were taken legal action because of violating The Act About Firearms and Knives, too.


In her parliamentary question submitted to Vice President Fuat Oktay in November 2018, Gamze Akkuş İlgezdi, says that Mustafa Yetgin, who killed Helin Palandöken with a rifle had acquired the gun on the internet and M.B., who sold the gun was given only administrative fines and then released. İlgezdi points out that the same person (MB), this time on October 30th 2018, was caught by the gendarmerie, with a large number of unregistered rifles in Konya-Beyşehir. She shares the following information about Konya and Beyşehir from her parliamentary question:

“In the last 2 years, just in Beyşehir province of Konya, 3 thousands and 565 unregistered shotguns, 1148 guns, modified from blank cartridge and 370 pen-type assassination guns were seized. This unfolds the terrifying level of individual armament in Turkey and shows that Konya has become a station.”

İlgezdi reminds that  people who are violating the Act 2521 about shotguns, that is to say, “having, manufacturing and selling unregistered shotguns, were given administrative fine.”


Lawyer Mustafa Karadağ, Former President of the Judges Union, indicates that the penalty of those who have unregistered guns is 1 to 3 years, penalty of possession and selling of grave weapons increased from 5 years to 8 or even 12 years:

“According to the Act No: 6136, the current penalties are normal if no one calls to kill anyone. But, the penal policy in Turkey is quite different. Currently, no one is sent to prison if not one is sentenced until almost 4 years. If the penalties are implemented effectively and the execution system works correctly, these crimes can be prevented more easily.”

Karadağ adds that Firearms Law no: 6136 is being favored when there are negotiations of amnesty, remission and penal system.

He underlines that the main problem is pump rifles and shotguns which have augmented ranges, are automated, with magazines, which can fire 8-10 cartridges:

“These weapons are 1200 TLs, their fine is just 500 TLs. According to the law no 2521, an unregistered shotgun is seized and said ‘Let’s go and get a license.” It is quite easy to access these shotguns, they are being registered easily and so cheap. People get access very easily to pump rifles and guns, which can fire many bullets. When consider this in the context of armament of people, it is certainly a serious danger.”


Lawyer Mustafa Karadağ interprets the unresponsiveness of government to the “armament call” of Sedat Peker and adds “This incriminates the ruling party”. “Is there any cooperation between those paramilitary forces and the ruling party?” he asks. Karadağ evaluates “armament call” of Peker as follows:

“This is very dangerous in an environment where weapons are sold so easily. When I heard of this, I stood on end. I felt like someone was pointing a gun at me. I scared. It is not a joke anymore, if someone, who doesn’t have a hesitation and has experience in killing people, makes this call. Representatives of ruling party make comments about everything irrelevantly, from onion to potato and Müjdat Gezen’s statements, but they are unresponsive to this “armament call”, this very weird.”

Translation: Ekin Değirmenci

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