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TurkStat releases death statistics after a two-year break during pandemic

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The Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat), which had controversially stopped releasing death statistics during the coronavirus pandemic, has published the death statistics for the years 2020 and 2021, the Kronos news website reported.

According to TurkStat data, a total of 1,073,532 people died in Turkey during the pandemic, which began in 2020 and peaked in 2021.

In 2020, 507,938 people died, jumping by 11.4 percent in 2021 to 565,594. In 2019, Turkey had seen the death of 435,941 people.

TurkStat data showed 22,139 people died from the coronavirus in 2020, with most of the coronavirus-related deaths occurring in the 65-74 age group, while it the figure was 65,198 in 2021.

According to data from the Health Ministry announced in November 2022, a total of 101,492 people died in Turkey during the coronavirus pandemic in 17,042,722 registered cases.

After Turkey announced its first coronavirus case on March 11, 2020, the institute in 2021 stopped releasing the “Death and Causes of Death Statistics,” which came out out every June, leading to the omission of the elderly death statistics for 2021.

TurkStat’s decision not to release data on death and causes of death was alleged to be an attempt to mask the true scale of COVID-19-related deaths in the country.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government was criticized for lacking transparency in its handling of the pandemic, with the credibility of the country’s official coronavirus numbers called into question many times after the pandemic broke out.

Members of medical chambers and healthcare worker unions across Turkey argued that the country’s real death toll was more than double the official figures.

Meanwhile, TurkStat data also showed that the most common cause of death in Turkey was vascular disease in 2020 and 2021.

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