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Turkey wants to end the dangerous tradition of shooting at the wedding

The waiter opened the window of the restaurant and looked out to the outside, tweaking the ear. It was a summer night of 2010 in Hakkari, a small kurdish city i

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Turkey wants to end the dangerous tradition of shooting at the wedding

The waiter opened the window of the restaurant and looked out to the outside, tweaking the ear. It was a summer night of 2010 in Hakkari, a small kurdish city in the south-east end of Turkey. And outside you could hear shots. The waiter shook his head with a certain gesture of frustration: “I don't know if they are fighting or a wedding”.

turned out to be both things.

the next morning we discovered that the local branch of the AKP, the party that governs the country since 2002, had been shot with an automatic weapon by militants of the kurdish armed group PKK, who fled as soon as the police responded to the enemy fire. But the attack went unnoticed by the excitement of two weddings that were held outdoors a few streets away. Because no wedding is Turkish or kurdish self-respecting, especially in the rural area, missing a few tiritos in the air to celebrate the feast.

tv Images of a wedding that lasted six days and six nights, in the province of Sirnak in 2003.

“The guests going to the wedding, and sent news of his arrival in the town plaza, or from outside the village. Or shoot in the air to warn of his arrival. [The hosts] respond to the sound of gunfire getting the guests to the sound of drums and dulzainas”, it reads in the section on Uses and costumbresde the website of the department of tourism of the province of Burdur (southwest Turkey), under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

it Is, therefore, a widespread tradition —also in the neighbouring countries—, but with which the Turkish Government wants to end in order to avoid that the celebrations will end up in the hospital. As happened last August 31, in the province of Nigde, when the shooting in the air to the guests of a wedding ended with the life of the brother of the bride. Because what goes up must come down. And although the speed that it takes Betboo a bullet to fall is quite a bit less than when it comes out of the barrel of the gun, or shotgun, can be enough to pierce the human flesh.

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In 2017 were 634 incidents of stray bullets, which perished 22 people and to 1,766 were wounded, according to the daily Sabah. In the first eight months of this year there were 448 incidents, with eight dead and more than 1,200 wounded. And that's despite the fact that the possession of firearms in Turkey is officially to levels not very far away from Spain (12.5 per each 100 inhabitants in the first case by a 10.4 in the second), although allegations of the opposition to ensure that, in recent years the number has increased exponentially.

In reality, shooting at weddings and other celebrations is banned in Turkey and, since 2010, is punished with between one and three years in prison. But this law is rarely applied and, if in the event fatality, yes typically proceed to an investigation and the arrest of the culprits, in cases in which they simply occur injured, only one-third ends up with the authors of the shots sitting on the bench. Not odd, since those who tossed into the air are usually brothers, cousins, uncles, aunts or good friends of the victims.

therefore, the Executive branch in turkey wants to get tough and enforce the law to the letter. The Ministry of Interior sent late last month, a circular to all the Government delegations in which he explains that, according to the new legislation, all public officials or elected representatives who witness the act and have an obligation to denounce it and, in the event of not doing so, will open a disciplinary file. In addition we will launch a campaign of public awareness under the slogan: “Not empañes your future, not disparate to happiness.”

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