Turkey saw a more than fivefold increase in the number of homicide convictions between 2009-2019, according to a report by an opposition deputy on convictions for violent crimes over the past decade, the Artıgerçek news website reported on Thursday.
Gamze Akkuş İlgezdi, from the Republican People’s Party (CHP), compiled a report on convictions for violent crimes in Turkey, citing Justice Ministry data, which said that between 2009-2019, 72,512 people were convicted of homicide. The homicide convictions in the years 2018 and 2019 account for 26 percent of the overall number, the report says, with 18,906 convictions.
While 1,514 people were convicted of homicide in 2009, the number stood at 9,574 in 2019.
Men account for the vast majority of homicide convictions, according to İlgezdi’s report, with Justice Ministry data showing that 98 percent of the people convicted of homicide in 2019 were male.
Convictions for physical assault increased 356 percent from 2009 to 2019, the report says, while stating that sex crime convictions grew by a staggering 932 percent, from 562 in 2009 to 5,758 in 2019.
“Turkey has become a country of criminals,” İlgezdi concluded in her report. “The decision-makers, notably the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services, which is playing the ostrich against the prevailing violence; the Ministry of Interior with its red tape; and the Ministry of Justice promoting a climate of impunity render all types of violence justifiable.”
“Therefore, the prevalence of violence is the result of [poor] politics. That is why homicide, physical assault and sex crimes have skyrocketed,” İlgezdi says.
Many people convicted of violent crimes were set free in mid-April as part of a law intended to ease overcrowding in the country’s prisons amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation was criticized for keeping political prisoners behind bars while releasing people like notorious mob boss Alaattin Çakıcı, who was convicted of a number of violent crimes.