Improvement of Civilian Oversight in Turkey Phase II

What is the project about?

The overall objective of the Project is to support expanded enjoyment of civil rights by Turkish citizens and democratic control of internal security forces by the regulatory system and public administration of Turkey. The specific objective of the Project is to contribute to the progress towards the overall objective spelled out above, the project aims at establishment of institutional and regulatory framework conditions for an effective oversight by the MoI of Internal Security Forces at the central and local level. The Project aims at making transition from narrowly conceived, bureaucratically and legalistically managed oversight of policing to a system of security sector governance based on human centered understanding of security and public safety and transparency in partnership with the civil society.

What is the situation?

The Government of Turkey has legislated a set of measures for reform in the field of expanding human rights and has declared a zero tolerance policy against torture and ill-treatment since 2002. The Government has also legislated a set of measures aiming at public administration reform. It also has recently modified the competence areas of the police and the gendarmerie, and finally annulled the EMASYA Protocol (the secret protocol on Security, Public Order and Assistance Units) that was conflicting with the law on public administration.

In addition, the Government of Turkey has initiated other focused initiatives with the EU Delegation, United Nations and bilateral partners to lay the groundwork for a transition from a narrowly conceived, bureaucratically and legalistically managed oversight of policing to a system of security sector governance based on a human centered understanding of security and public safety with partnership with civil society. The twinning project “An Independent Police Complaint Commission for Turkey” run by the MoI and the project “Turkish Political Criteria Programme Phase 2“ of the Police Inspectorate with the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs are examples of such an approach.

In February 2010, parliament adopted a law establishing an Under-secretariat for Public Order and Security under the Ministry of the Interior to develop policies on counter-terrorism and to serve as secretariat for the Counter-Terrorism Coordination Board. The law also established an Intelligence Assessment Centre to strengthen intelligence-sharing between security institutions.

Implementation of the regulation on the powers of the police and the gendarmerie in urban and rural areas has continued. Residential areas in 31 towns with a combined population of about one million civilians were transferred from the Gendarmerie to the police, which is under civilian control. However, there has been no progress on civilian control over the gendarmerie’s law enforcement activities.

No progress has been made concerning parliamentary oversight of the defence budget or on audit of the properties of the armed forces by the Court of Auditors. The Law on the Court of Auditors was adopted by the Planning and Budget Committee in May and is awaiting approval by the plenary.

Overall, progress has been made on civilian oversight of security forces. The jurisdiction of military courts was limited, the decisions of the Supreme Military Council were opened to judicial review and arrangements were made for high-ranking officers to be tried by civilian courts. However, senior members of the armed forces have made a number of statements going beyond their remit, in particular on judicial issues. No progress was made on parliamentary oversight over extra-budgetary military funds.”

What is UNDP’s mission?

The Ministry of Internal Affairs’ institutional commitment is manifested in its cooperation with the UNDP in doing the preparatory work necessary for the conduct of this project at hand and with other bilateral partners in related areas. In this connection, the UNDP has a unique partnership with the MoI through which it provides training and capacity building assistance to the MoI. UNDP Turkey provides policy advisory and program implementation services for the Ministry of Interior of Turkey in the field of human rights with focus on civilian oversight.

How are we doing this?

The project will tackle the overarching problem of insufficient framework conditions for effective civilian oversight of internal security forces, at three levels: (1) legal; (2) institutional capacity building at central and local level and (3) strengthening independent oversight as well as consultation with civil society. This approach is derived from the result of the first project, global experience and the literature on the subject which makes clear that civilian oversight can be, and is increasingly being, defined to include both civilian authorities (elected and appointed, administrative, legislative and judicial) and representation or participation from civil society.

The Project is composed of 3 components:
Component A - Legislative Framework: This component is geared towards revising and developing a legislative framework, which will enable MoI and the public administrators (governors and sub governors) to exercise effective civilian oversight over law enforcement bodies, public and private.
Component B – Capacity Building: This component aims at increasing the institutional capacity of the Ministry of Interior and the public administrators (governors and sub governors) with the conceptual and institutional tools and resources to strengthen civilian oversight and to meet the EU standards for human rights protection.
Component C – Civil Society and Media: This component is geared towards installing a set of mechanisms to have independent and more effective oversight on law enforcement bodies and strengthening the consultation with civil society.

How will Turkey benefit?

The project is in conformity with the priorities of the Accession Partnership and   EU/Commission policies by supporting the ongoing work of the Government of Turkey in:
1. Take steps towards bringing about greater accountability and transparency in the conduct of security affairs.
2. Continue the training of law enforcement agencies on human right issues     and investigation techniques.
3. Continue to strengthen all law enforcement institutions and align their status and functioning with European standards, through developing inter-agency cooperation. Adopt a code of ethics and establish an independent and effective complaints system to ensure greater accountability covering all law enforcement bodies.

What we have accomplished so far?

- Local Security comissions are launched in İstanbul ( Fatih, Kadıköy, Üsküdar), İzmir (Çeşme), Gaziantep and Malatya
- Studies and meetings provide input to Framework Law For Internal Security Sector
- Studies and meetings provide input to video surveillance regulatory framework
- Awareness Raising Events increase civil society conscious about local security issues
- ‘Analysis of best practices of parliamentary oversight’ report was finalized.


Project Overview
Focus area:
Democratic Governance
Project number:
Project start date:
July 2012
Estimated end date:
July 2014
USD 4,372,313.04
Project funding:
The Project is financed through the contribution of European Commission
Delivery in previous fiscal years:
Amount contributed per year by each project funder:
Ankara (Center), Gaziantep, İstanbul, İzmir, Malatya, Trabzon
UN/National executing agencies:
Ministry of Interior
UN/National/NGO implementing partners:
UNDP Turkey
Contact Details

Gazi Levent Kurtoğlu

Ministry of Interior

Tel: +90 418 92 00

Project Documents