The ratio of crimes has increased over three fold in the last decade, according to figures obtained from the police department. Lack of educational opportunities, urban migration, income inequality and the breakdown of the traditional family are all contributory causes experts suggest.
According to the Justice Ministry figures there are over 8 million people who have criminal records. The number of prisoners has exceeded 68,000.
Crimes in 2005 reached 526,000 compared to 229,000 in 1995. In the first half of 2006, 425,000 crimes were committed. This number is expected to exceed 800,000 by the end of the year. Snatch-and-run theft, the nightmare of urban residents, reached 25,000 up from 12,000 five years ago.
Figures from the last five years point to three big cities as hotspots for crime. Forty two percent of all crimes committed were in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. In almost two thirds of cases the perpetrators could not be found. The age of criminals is also falling. The Istanbul police department conducted a survey on 44,552 juvenile prisoners to shed light on motives behind juvenile crimes. According to the survey, 95 percent of all juvenile criminals come from families with low incomes who have migrated from rural areas to big cities. The fathers of 45 percent of these children are unemployed and 51 percent have never been to school. The parents of 15 percent are separated and each of these children has another criminal in the family.
Ninety percent smoke and drink alcohol and 34 percent say they are using drugs. Most say they envy mafia characters seen in television soap operas.
The number of people who carry guns is also increasing rapidly. Researchers wonder if there is a link between the rising number of armed individuals and the escalating number of crimes. According to data obtained in 2005, 586,965 people are carrying licensed guns. This number is thought to reach into the millions when counting unlicensed weapons. Three percent of all crimes committed in 2005 were committed with firearms. Of that number, unlicensed guns were used in 12,978 crimes compared to licensed guns which were used in 2,604 crimes.
According to the Justice Ministry data, criminal records exceed 8 million. The number of prisoners has exceeded 68,000. Moreover, 14,000 were arrested in the first four months of 2006. After an amnesty in 2000, known as the Rahþan amnesty named after Rahþan Ecevit the wife of late Turkish Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit, the number of prisoners had been reduced to 35,000 but the emptied jails have been refilled within the last six years.
Divorce cases more frequent, Turkish families face danger
According to the data by the Turkish Statistical Institute, 28,000 couples got divorced in 1995 and 95,000 divorced in 2005. An Istanbul University survey showed that one out of four people is exposed to family abuse and 75 percent of the victims are women and children. Meanwhile, only two percent of abusers are punished.
Bakýrköy Reception Institute Assistant Head Doctor Professor Kemal Sayar links increasing crime to the failure in passing national and spiritual values on to the next generations. He said that the youth has been influenced by superficial pop culture, especially in the last decade. ?Our youth are adopting consumer culture instead of values such as sincerity and friendship. They do not have a set of values to help them judge what is good and what is bad since they do not inherit the previous generation?s values. This is new in our country and family values are losing strength. Children brought up without family values do not feel sanctions for crime within themselves. And they can commit crime very easily.? Sayar also said that the media shared responsibility in this negative process. He claimed that soap opera characters who commit crimes look legitimate.
Ýbrahim Balcýoðlu of the Psychiatry Department of Istanbul University Medical School links the degeneration of values to migration from rural areas to big cities. He stressed that the population has exceeded one million in 20 cities in the last 15 years. "Migration due to economic worries and fear of terror incites tension within communities. A big portion of children subject to crimes are from families of low social class who migrated from rural areas. They see people living in luxury in big cities and want to be like them. And they are prone to crime when they cannot reach that."
"Young people should be trained for jobs"
Sayar proposes this solution: "Family values should be preserved and strengthened. Social injustice and income inequality should be fixed. Work should be done to give the youth a cultural identity. Children must be given training on compassion and feelings at school. They should practice understanding the feelings of others. Drug dealers and crime organizations who use children must be heavily punished."Balcýoðlu underlined the importance of job training for the youth as a remedy. "Surveys point out that there are fewer cases of fighting and violence in vocational high schools. The crime ratio is lower in people who have a job and who make money. We must direct young people to jobs so that they will have more self reliance. This will keep them away from crime."
Types of interfamily violence
Striking data on factors that damage family structure
Alcohol consumption per capita: 20 liters
Money spent on alcohol and cigarettes: 4.2 percent of the national income
Money spent on education: 2.1 percent of the national income
Smoking age: 10
Drinking age: 11
Drug use age: 12
Today's ZamanGüncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16