The number of private security personnel in Turkey has risen by 92 percent over the past six years, according to figures from the Interior Ministry. Responding to an information application from independent lawmaker Aylin Nazıaka, the ministry’s statistics showed that the number of private security personnel actively working in the country rose to 284,399 from 147,474 security personnel working in the sector in 2011. As of July 24, 2017, a total of 992,721 people were given private security identity cards, and 624,099 of those private security guards were given private security arms licenses, the ministry stated.
According to the ministry data, a total of 284,399 private security personnel, including those armed and unarmed, are actively working in the sector. Private security personnel figures saw a steady increase each year from 2011, reaching 255,967 last year, the data showed. After rising by 92 percent over the past six years, the private security sector is now the second biggest security force in Turkey, after the Armed Forces, even outnumbering the Interior Ministry’s General Directorate of Security, which has 261,427 personnel.
In 2015, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had stated that the private security sector should be “a thing of past,” vowing to propose the complete removal of the sector from the country. However, since then the number of private security personnel in Turkey has increased by 41,078 people.