In 2018, Turkey’s suicide rate has increased by eight percent since 2011 according to data collected from General Directorate of Security, Gendarmerie General Command, General Directorate of Prisons and Detention Houses and Turkish General Staff.
The suicide rate spiked in 2012 where it increased 21 percent from the previous year. Although it started decreasing gradually throughout the following six years, the annual rate of change was one percent.
The highest drop in suicide rate occurred in 2016 when the decreased by 3 percent from 2017.
“Although the suicide rate in Turkey is lower than in most European countries, it has started to become a significant public health problem,” the European Commission’s latest report on Turkey said. The report indicated that the number of people who committed suicide increased by 50 percent in the last 40 years.
The most suicidal city in Turkey through out the eight years is Ardahan, located in northeastern Turkey, with an average suicide rate of 8.07 persons per 100,000 population. However its suicide rate has decreased by an average of 5.8 percent.
Whereas the least suicidal city in the country is the northern city of Gümüşhane with an average suicide rate of 1.68 persons per 100,000 population. Despite its low suicide rate, its rate has increased by 67.8 percent.
The highest suicide rate increase was in Rize where the rate increased almost five times in 2018 compared to 2011. On the other hand, Elazığ suicide rate experienced the highest drop where the rate decreased by over half in 2018 relative to 2011.
Although the regional differences in suicide rates show a decreasing trend, suicide has been more prevalent regardless.
Since 1962, Turkey has been recording suicide rates. While the data might still be underestimated, it is more accurate than what it was 40 years ago.