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Report: Sharp 148% Surge in Number of Children Involved in Criminal Activities in Turkey

In a recent report released by the Poverty Solidarity Office of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) of Turkey, alarming statistics have come to light regarding the increasing involvement of children in criminal activities.

As per the report, which references data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK), the incidents involving children have skyrocketed by a significant 20.5%, reaching a staggering 601,754 cases compared to the previous year. Particularly concerning is the revelation that the count of children drawn into criminal activities, which stood at under 100,000 back in 2010, has surged twofold to a staggering 206,853 by the year 2022.

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Based on figures highlighted by ANKA, the data underscores a concerning trend over a span of 12 years, from 2010 to 2022, showcasing a staggering 148% uptick in the number of children embroiled in criminal behavior. The most frequently attributed primary offenses include assault, theft, and drug-related infractions. Notably, law enforcement statistics indicate that of the children brought to their attention due to criminal involvement, 37.8% faced charges related to assault, 25.2% for theft, 4.5% for drug possession or trafficking, 4.2% for violations of passport laws, and 4.1% for alleged threat-related offenses.

The report further details:

A Noteworthy 10% Rise in Children Linked to Drug Usage

In the year 2022, the tally of children apprehended by law enforcement for offenses pertaining to drug usage or distribution has surged by nearly 10%, climbing from 25,465 to 27,078 cases. Comparatively, the data reflects a 37% increase, as the number of children aged 12 to 17 entering correctional facilities as convicted individuals rose from 999 in 2021 to 1,373 by the close of 2022. To provide a current overview, the official website of the Directorate of Correctional Facilities reveals that, as of July 3, 2023, a collective 1,559 children are in custody, comprising 1,496 boys and 63 girls; concurrently, a total of 1,013 children, with 975 boys and 38 girls, find themselves serving convictions.

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