This presentation discusses youth crime and violence within the context of evolving democracy. The focus is to compare Turkish juvenile crime to that experienced in the United States and the United Kingdom (e.g., extent, characteristics, causes, solutions, etc.). During the mid-to late 1990s, Turkey’s juvenile crime rate skyrocketed, although rates have decreased in recent years. Increases seen during the 1990’s may be a natural by-product of Turkey's historical efforts to become and maintain a democratic society, and part of the price Turkey has to pay to join the European Union. Juvenile crime (and other social problems, such as suicide) may continue to increase as more and more Western and European influences enter Turkey. Rates of illicit drug use and youth participation in alternative belief systems (e.g., occult and satanic involvement) also may be involved. These two issues, while fairly commonplace in discussions of American and British youth crime, are relatively new to Turkey. With a growing problem of illicit drug use by Turkish young people, the first “satanic ritual murder” of a young woman in an Istanbul cemetery in 1999, and rapidly increasing rates of suicide among juveniles, Turkey has joined the ranks of other nations, such as the U.S. and the U.K. in facing unique challenges when dealing with juvenile anti-social behavior. This paper presents discussion of these issues and proposes some solutions to address juvenile crime and violence.
Crews, Gordon A. & West, Angela D. "Democracy and Delinquency: An International Comparison of Youth Violence Associated with Alternative Lifestyles, Beliefs, and Practices" The Istanbul Conference on Democracy and Global Security: An International Conference. Istanbul, Turkey. Jun 2005.