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Alarm as Turkey’s ruling party moves to empower night watchmen

A revived nighttime security force in Turkey may soon get the same powers as regular police, drawing protest from lawmakers and civil rights advocates.

ISTANBUL — In 2016, the Turkish government reinstated a nighttime security force known as "bekci," or watchmen, to support police officers in maintaining public safety in urban neighborhoods.

Tasked with patrolling streets and calling police officers when needed, the bekci forces have acted as a complementary security force and have grown to more than 21,000 male and female officers.

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