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Turkish government aims to restructure military police

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu introduced a new bill to put the gendarmerie under civilian control.
Gendarmes stand guard as visitors wait behind the security barriers outside the courthouse in Silivri near Istanbul March 11, 2013. The trial of nearly 300 people, who are charged with attempting to overthrow Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's Islamist-rooted government, resumed at Silivri prison complex. The case is emblematic of Erdogan's long-standing battle with secularist opponents, and one of a series of conspiracy trials that he describes as a struggle against anti-democratic forces.  REUTERS/Murad Seze

On Oct. 21, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu introduced the framework of his government’s new bill aiming to change the bureaucratic alignment of the law enforcement agencies. Davutoglu — who did not provide the public with a detailed draft of his plans — seeks to restructure the Interior Ministry and the police with an emphasis on a new parliamentary watchdog commission representing all elected parties to keep law enforcement forces accountable in case they abuse their power.

“We prepared the reform package on domestic security and the protection of freedoms after a week of intensive efforts,” Davutoglu said. “All authority over the personnel and the records of the Turkish gendarmerie and the Coast Guard will be transferred to the Interior Ministry — with the exception of matters relating to the military. It is high time to strengthen Turkey’s civilian and democratic character.”

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