Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government intensely continues its policies for privatization of security. The current number of private security guards are over 300.000, and 55.000 new guns have been supplied.
After the recent terror attacks, the ruling AKP began to further boost the private security sector, including the equipment of special weapons. Accordingly, the government is preparing to introduce a new regulation. It is an issue of concern whether the extent of the authority to use arms will be increased.
In 2015, the President Erdoğan had said that ‘‘Private security practices should be set aside. In most of the institutions, private security should be abandoned.’’ No later than 1,5 years after these statements, private security army developed dramatically.
SECURITY TRANSFERRED TO THE COMPANIES
Following the recent Reina nightclub attack in Istanbul on New Year's Eve, transfer of security to private companies has become a hot topic. As the demands for ‘‘a greater authority for private security’’ and ‘‘authority to use weapons for the private security in the entertainment venues’’ have received widespread media coverage, the government seems willing to take further steps.
The draft of the ‘‘Private Security Act’’ prepared by the AKP in early summer had come in for severe criticism and were suspended following the July 15 coup attempt. The draft allowed non-Turkish citizens to work as private security guards, while also expanding their authorities. It had led to concerns about the establishment of ‘‘private security gangs’’ comprised of jihadists at the time.
THE SECTOR CONTINUES TO GROW
The President of Private Security Services Organizations’ Association (GÜSOD), Murat Kösereisoğlu, had made a statement following the terrorist attack in Reina night club on New Year's eve, saying ‘‘Currently, 90.000 establishments in Turkey (banks, buildings, factories, shopping malls) have private security permits, and 55.000 weapons have been supplied to these''. Kösereisoğlu stated that while 450.000 private security staffs were reserved, the actual number of people employed is 320.000.
In another interview in the national newspaper Sözcü, Kösereisoğlu indicated that the recent stagnation in the sector ended, marking a new boom.