If you pick a pocket or steal a bicycle in Afyonkarahisar you might find yourself with an unusual sentence: planting up to 1000 trees.
A judge is handing out a community service sentence of tree planting for petty crime in the Aegean district. In a year, Mehmet Gulcek has handed down 60 sentences of planting between 100 and 1000 trees around Afyonkarahisar. This has meant an extra 40,000 trees for the district.
Gulcek said his criteria for passing down the sentence is having a previously clean criminal record and showing repentance. Part of the deal is that crims will need to maintain the trees for up to a year. “If charity is done, it should be fully done. There is no such thing as planting and taking off just like that,” he told the daily Milliyet.
“If one thousand courts did this in one year, Turkey would gain 40 million trees. If my colleagues support this practice, in 10 years we will transform Turkey into the Amazon.”
The trees are provided by the Forestry and Water Works Ministry.
Afyonkarahisar hit the news a couple of years ago when it banned alcohol.