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Keywords:

  • forensic science;
  • terrorism;
  • Turkey;
  • actor unknown political murder;
  • political violence;
  • GIS analysis;
  • abitrary and summary execution;
  • Minnesota protocol

Abstract:  In this study, we have analyzed the temporal and spatial trends in actor unknown political murders in Turkey. A total of 1852 cases, defined as actor unknown political murders, occurred in Turkey between 1975 and 2006, with the peak years being 1980 and 1994. Three different time frames could be defined: 1975–1993, 1994–1999, and 2000–2006. During the first period, cases were common all over Turkey, but during the second and third periods, they were more frequent in metropolitan areas and in the southeast. Incidents occurring during the first period could be attributed to the struggle between right- and left-wing supporters, while most murders occurring during the second and third periods seem to have been related to Kurdish separatism. Although the most crucial factor in preventing actor unknown political murders is a politically stable atmosphere, forensics can also play an important role. Turkey needs to improve its forensic services to bring them in line with international standards, namely the Minnesota Protocol.