Private security guards to be replaced by police

More than 25,000 security guards that serve in stadiums, university campuses and dormitories will be replaced by policemen who are classified as protection officers

Private security guards to be replaced by police

World Bulletin/News Desk

In a recent announcement, Interior Minister Muammer Güler told the press that more than 25,000 security guards that serve in stadiums, university campuses and dormitories will be replaced by policemen who are classified as protection officers in the National Police Department.

According to Güler, 10,000 protection officers will be hired by the Police Department to take over security enforcement in these areas. He said: “Based on our experience, these privately hired security guards do not provide the necessary protection at stadiums. We are aware that full enforcement can't be provided just by security guards, and we will implement newer mechanisms such as electronic tickets, fan cards and advanced cameras to achieve the highest safety standards.” Pointing to agreements with FIFA that have been signed to provide safety at stadiums, he said these new servants would serve as protection officers with a special responsibility.

Thus in this sector, private business will lose work that will be transferred to the government, and 1,513 companies in the sector are expected to have problems with the decision. These companies currently serve 59,498 businesses and institutions in the country, according to data from the National Police Department. The data also indicate that of slightly more than 1 million registered security guards that only 298,397 are actually working. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has also criticized the private security businesses for not providing the best service, saying that these guards would be removed from stadiums and universities.

Considering that there are 170 universities in the country, and each employs 150 security guards on average, more than 25,000 security guards are employed at universities nationally. For example, according to sources, İstanbul Technical University employs 326 guards, Marmara University employees 296, while Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University in the province of Rize has 115 guards. These guards who work on university campuses over the weekend are also able to work at stadiums over the weekend when there are games. During each game, 700-800 security guards are working, while the number increases to 900-1200 during heated derby games.

Bülent Perut, the president of a private federation for private security associations (Tüm Özel Güvenlik Dernekleri Federasyonu (TÖGF)), released a statement on Tuesday urging the government to support the sector. “Right now, more than a million private security guards are registered. Only 240,000 are currently employed anyway, and they will also lose their chance for additional income by working in stadiums. This sector, which has the potential to increase employment in the country, should be supported by the government.”

Meanwhile, Turkish football has been suffering from violence in and outside of stadiums that results in torn seats, seriously damaged stadiums and club facilities and angry mobs remaining after several football matches. Sports media looks for culprits to blame for the football violence, though it, too, is on the receiving end of criticism for inciting fan violence. The incidents peaked following the Galatasaray-Fenerbahçe derby game in mid May when 19-year-old Fenerbahçe fan Burak Yıldırım was stabbed to death by a Galatasaray fan, which will remain as a black stain on Turkish football.

University campuses in the country are also often the sites of clashes between students who have different political views as well as a location for student protests.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Mayıs 2013, 10:19

Muhammed Öylek