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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/8/2005 2:30:50 PM EDT
Turkish Bride's Death Sparks Drive to End Gunshot Celebrations
Sept. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Begum Kartal, a 23-year-old Istanbul university student, was to be married Sept. 1. Three days before the ceremony, she was killed by a bullet fired into the air by revelers at a pre-wedding party.

``Somebody should end this terror!'' her father, Hasan Kartal, pleaded in a front-page story in the Istanbul daily Sabah. His words have sparked a nationwide campaign by activists and politicians who are urging Turks to stop firing guns to celebrate weddings and sporting triumphs, a practice that kills more than 500 people a year in Turkey.

Rural residents have flooded into Turkey's cities over the past 40 years, bringing with them traditions of gun ownership and use that aren't compatible with life in congested urban areas. The rate of fatal firearms accidents in Turkey is about three times higher than in the U.S., government statistics show.

``Turkey has turned into an arsenal,'' Turan Tuysuz, 35, an opposition lawmaker, said in a Sept. 1 phone interview. ``Everyone carries a gun. At weddings you get a thousand people firing into the air. How do we stop them?''

Tuysuz has submitted legislation calling for longer prison sentences for owners of unlicensed firearms and more rigorous screening of those who apply for gun permits.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, 51, is focusing on lawmakers themselves. Last week he warned two members of his own party to abide by laws that prohibit the use of firearms in residential areas after they were photographed firing guns into the air at a wedding party. Members of parliament own more than 3,000 guns, the daily Hurriyet said Aug. 31.

Turkey has about 8 million firearms, or one for every 12 people, according to a July report by the Small Arms Survey, a Geneva-based research group. That compares with one gun per 32 people in the U.K. and one for every 310 in Japan. In the U.S., the figure is two guns for every three people.

`Disturbing Habit'

Firearms accidents killed 565 people in urban areas of Turkey in 2003, or one death for every 124,000 citizens, the most recent figures from the State Institute of Statistics show. In the U.S., the rate was one death for every 380,000 residents, according to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Educating people about the dangers of gun use is the key to preventing more deaths, Erdogan told reporters Sept. 1.

``Unfortunately, this disturbing habit is widespread in every corner of Turkey,'' he said in televised comments. ``We have to raise social awareness about this.''

Firearms are a part of Turkish culture. A proverb says there are three things every Turkish man should have: ``a horse, a wife and a gun.''

`Machismo and Power'

Rapid industrialization has fueled the bloodshed, as millions of people moved to the cities from the countryside, bringing rural habits with them, said Ayhan Akcan, an Istanbul psychiatrist who works with the Umut Foundation, a non-government organization campaigning for gun control. Two-thirds of Turkey's population now lives in urban areas, compared with less than a quarter in 1950, according to a United Nations study published in 2001.

``Turks may live in cities but it's still mainly an eastern village culture,'' Akcan said in a phone interview last week. ``Guns are about machismo and power.''

Many Turks learn to use guns in their early teens. In southeastern Turkey that's partly the legacy of sometimes violent clan feuds, said Tuysuz, who represents the city of Sanliurfa, near the Syrian border. Such vendettas often escalate into murder, and adolescents are frequently chosen to carry out the killings because minors get reduced prison sentences, he said.

The current media focus on the issue means that ``for the first time we've gotten to a point where Turkey may take a step back from the gun culture,'' Akcan said.

Soccer Revelry

Accidental shootings often happen after soccer games, when supporters celebrate by firing into the air.

Fans partied through the night when Istanbul club Fenerbahce won the national soccer championship in May. At least eight people were injured by gunshots during the festivities, the newspaper Radikal reported at the time.

Many Turks avoid going onto their balconies after important matches.

``I wouldn't even put my head out of the window,'' said Serhat Ozkan, 31, a documentary filmmaker who lives in Istanbul. ``At times like that, it's really best not to go outside.''

Politicians should set an example by obeying the law, said Tuncer Essizhan, a lawyer in the western city of Izmir. Essizhan is suing Eyup Fatsa and Enver Yilmaz, the two lawmakers Erdogan scolded last week, for emotional distress.

``We're trying to wean people off their guns, and they're encouraging them,'' he said of the two members of parliament.

Essizhan's involvement in the campaign for gun control is driven by personal loss. His 2-year-old grandchild, Alistair Grimason, was killed by a stray bullet during a 2003 brawl at a cafe in the town of Foca, 53 kilometers (33 miles) north of Izmir.

``He was my only grandson,'' Essizhan said. ``For us, that was the end of the sweetness in life, and it was a bullet that ended it.''



To contact the reporter on this story:
Ben Holland in Istanbul at bholland1@bloomberg.net.
Last Updated: September 7, 2005 19:10 EDT
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 2:35:28 PM EDT
This goes back to the rules of firearm safety.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 2:37:28 PM EDT
Allah's will.

Dumbfucks.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 2:40:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Rebel_Marine:
Allah's will.

Dumbfucks.



X2
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 2:51:52 PM EDT
There were 80 or more that died in Baghdad after Saddam was captured...and something like 300 hurt in the celebration.

F'ing dummies....

HH
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 2:53:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CRC:
His words have sparked a nationwide campaign by activists and politicians who are urging Turks to stop firing guns to celebrate weddings and sporting triumphs, a practice that kills more than 500 people a year in Turkey.

Hehe, rednecks!
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 2:57:13 PM EDT
Firing guns in the air kills 500 people a year in Turkey

...and the problem is...?

Link Posted: 9/8/2005 2:58:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/8/2005 2:59:10 PM EDT by Schulze]

Originally Posted By CRC:

Turkey has about 8 million firearms, or one for every 12 people, according to a July report by the Small Arms Survey, a Geneva-based research group. That compares with one gun per 32 people in the U.K. and one for every 310 in Japan. In the U.S., the figure is two guns for every three people.





One for every twelve people? That's the world average. The real problem is, how can the US get to one gun for every person?

Edit: And there's little danger firing straight up - it's the angle shooters that are the problem. Someone should teach these people how to celebrate the proper way.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 2:59:40 PM EDT

If people could just learn to fire STRAIGHT up, we could all enjoy the fun - but as usual a few idiots have to ruin the shooting-in-the-air fun for everyone.


Link Posted: 9/8/2005 3:00:42 PM EDT
Maybe they could just switch to blanks?



Link Posted: 9/8/2005 3:00:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
If people could just learn to fire STRAIGHT up, we could all enjoy the fun



Nope.. wind.

Link Posted: 9/8/2005 3:01:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Tras:

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
If people could just learn to fire STRAIGHT up, we could all enjoy the fun



Nope.. wind.




Care to explain that, or am I a little thick?
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 3:05:47 PM EDT

A proverb says there are three things every Turkish man should have: ``a horse, a wife and a gun.''


Fixed it.

Don't let your hatred for ROP'rs blind you.
Notice the thinly veiled comments about America thrown in there?
Replace the word Turkey with America - then you get a picture of what the article is about.
These deaths are just an excuse that the Int'l Disarmament groups are using.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 3:06:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Tras:

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
If people could just learn to fire STRAIGHT up, we could all enjoy the fun



Nope.. wind.




Highly unlikely - that might lead to slight drift, but will NOT lead to velocities greater than terminal velocity. Only angles signicantly LESS than 90 will accomplish that.
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