The seminar titled “The Growing Role of Private Security in Turkey and the Need for Further Regulatory Reform” was organized on 9 June 2014, within the context of “Improvement of Civilian Oversight of Internal Security Sector Project-Phase II” with the cooperation of İstanbul Bahçeşehir University.
Over 40 delegates, largely drawn from senior positions in the private security sector participated in the seminar, which explored three broad issues: the legal basis of the sector, the structure of regulation and control, as well as EU standards and norms and best practice.
Legal basis of private security
Regarding the legal basis of the sector the wide range of powers of private security staff were examined at the seminar. This triggered some debate amongst the delegates regarding some common procedures undertaken by the private sector, which may not be compliant with the law. It was clear from the debate that the rapid growth of private security in size and role has meant that the law has not kept up-to-date with normal industry practices and further reform needs to be considered.
Turkish regulatory system
The system of licensing, enforcement and training under the Turkish system were also explored in the seminar. The detailed requirements for unarmed guards, armed guards and companies were outlined. Training and higher education was also considered, which stimulated debate on a number of issues, such as the exemptions such courses bring, the positions university graduates go into and the lack of training amongst the state security sector of the work and role of the private sector.
EU standards and norms
Participants also learnt about EU standards and norms for private security. They heard there was no clear standard for a regulatory system, although there were EU requirements relating to the single market and the protection of workers, which were likely to require reforms in Turkey. Best practice in the EU was also discussed, with particular attention to Spain and Belgium, which were considered some of the best regulatory systems.
Private contribution was discussed
Debates about security often focused upon the public agents with little or no consideration of the private contribution. This is despite the case in many countries private security is assuming a significant role, with some states employing more private security personnel employed than public.
Great support from senior members of Bahçeşehir University
The seminar was co-organised with Bahçeşehir University Law department, with great support of seniors members from University Feridun Yenisey, Professor of Law; Osman Öztürk, CSG City Security Group-CEO, General Coordinator, Private Security and Protection Department; and Özer Özben, CSG City Security Group Deputy General Director, Bahçeşehir University Private Security and Protection Department,