Turkish Opposition Detects “Terrifying” Suicides

A report submitted by the opposition Republican People’s Party in Turkey revealed a high suicide rate among Turkish citizens during the rule of (AKP). The party accused AKP of leading citizens to severe depression due to the deteriorating economic situation brought about by the ruling party’s policies.

The report presented by Gamzeh Akkush Ilgazdi, the deputy head of the party, indicated that there was a 48% increase in the number of suicides under the ruling of AKP.

“Every week, at least 65 citizens die under the one-man regime,” Ilgazdi said.

Numbers and reasons

The Turkish opposition report indicated that while 2,030 people ended their lives for various reasons in 2002, this number increased to 3,406 in 2019.

While the government confirms that 4 out of 10 people have ended their lives by suicide, for unknown reasons, indicating that 42 percent of suicides in Turkey are of unknown cause.

“65 suicides per week, between 2017-2019, where 9,916 people committed suicide throughout Turkey, and this number alone constitutes 19 percent of the number of deaths during the same period, while the total number of suicides during the period of Justice and Development rule between 2002-2019 reached 53,425 cases,” this is what Ilgazdi added.

The report confirmed that suicides in Turkey increased for economic reasons by 38 percent between 2017 and 2019, while 232 people died in 2017 for economic reasons, this number increased to 312 in 2019.

“There are more than 10 suicide reports in the past ten days, which were mentioned in the press only. The news of suicide that came every day on the days of the epidemic is also a black harbinger in the 2020 data,” this is how the vice president of the largest Turkish opposition party concluded their report.

Demand for the use of antidepressants…

The Turkish opposition report came days after opposition mp Jamza Tashjir, a pharmacist, who confirmed that there is an alarming and frightening increase in the use of antidepressants in Turkey.

Tashjir explained that the rate of increase in the use of antidepressants was 1.8 percent from 2018 to 2019, but it increased from 0192 to 2020 tremendously to 9.6 percent.

She also revealed in numbers that 49.8 million boxes of anti-depressant drugs were sold in 2019, while this number increased to 54.6 million in 2020, noting that economic problems are the main reason behind this.

“Real unemployment in Turkey has exceeded 11.2 million. Millions are unemployed and are struggling to make ends meet and cannot care for their families, and therefore now consider suicide the only solution,” this is what was indicated by Willy Agbaba, Vice President of the CHP, during his comment on these data.

Governmental efforts

The government, in turn, did not deny the high incidence of suicides among Turkish citizens, and several government institutions launched projects at the beginning of the year to curb this phenomenon.

On February 10, a governmental mental health association announced the launch of a project as part of efforts to prevent suicides in Turkey, with the support of the Turkish Ministry of Youth and Sports.

About 1,800 psychologists have volunteered for the project called “IMDAT Adherence to the Suicide Prevention Counseling Network,” 81 of whom were chosen from 81 provinces in the country.

The association explained that after receiving online training from experts at the Mental Health Association, volunteers will engage people who are likely to attempt suicide.

“Some people have lost their motivation to continue living during the COVID-19 pandemic,″ this is what Omar Akgül, the association’s president said.

“We need every life, every soul, we do not have the luxury of losing anyone,” he added.

Akgül also confirmed that the association will provide training for volunteers for a year and will work to prevent suicides in Turkey during the next two years.

Migration of foreign investment..

Many major companies and banks are seeking to leave work in Turkey, in light of a new decline in the Turkish lira in its value against foreign currencies last week, and the exchange rate of the lira fell to 7.1966 liras per dollar the day before yesterday in Turkey, bringing the total declines last week to 3 percent.

A few days ago, the British Aviva company announced that it will leave Turkey for an international restructuring it plans to avoid possible losses if it continues its activities inside Turkey, which is experiencing an unprecedented financial crisis.

The British company decided to sell its 40 percent share of its shares in a joint venture with the Turkish side, which is something that other foreign companies are likely to do in the coming period due to the years-long economic crisis in Turkey.

Turkish media reported that it is expected that Agia insurance company, which has branches in Turkey, will buy the shares of the British company in a deal that will close later in 2021, and will be valued at about $ 173 million.

Other media outlets have also not ruled out the departure of the British investment bank, known for short as HSBC, from Turkey. Where the bank’s management announced its intention to move from Turkey, at the beginning of this year, “if it is possible to find a local buyer.”

It is worth noting that major international companies decided to abandon their projects in Turkey, such as Volkswagen, amid continuous government assurances that foreign investment is rising in Turkey.

Volkswagen canceled its project, through which it was aiming to establish a factory in Turkey worth 1.1 billion US dollars, and chose Slovakia instead, for “political reasons,” according to Herbert Deiss, Executive Director of Volkswagen.

It is noteworthy that Volkswagen had suspended its commercial plans in Turkey after pressure from the German public opinion due to the Turkish army’s invasion of more Syrian lands in the northeast of the country in October of 2019, as Ankara launched attacks on Kurdish fighters and their local allies in the Syrian Democratic Forces, backed by the West and Washington.

It is noteworthy that, according to the data of the Turkish Ministry of Trade, 99,588 stores and 40,735 companies were closed in 2020, while the number of unemployed reached 4 million and 16 thousand according to the data of the Turkish Statistics Authority, but unofficial figures say that the real number The unemployed amounted to nearly 10.7 million.

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