Government pays record amount to private guards
ISTANBULPublic institutions have paid a record 706.5 million Turkish Liras to private security firms so far this year, a jump by four-fold in the spending items over the last five years, according to the Treasury’s budget data.
The item entered the budget in 2014, daily Cumhuriyet noted in its related article on Dec. 22. The 2014 figures show the total state spending on private security companies reached 2.76 billion liras, which is roughly higher than 1 billion euros.
The number of private security guards in the country, both in the private and public sectors, was some 460,000 according to a March study by the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB).
This surpasses the number of police officers in the country and also represents some 1.8 percent of all registered employees in Turkey, of which there are around 25.5 million.
TOBB figures also show that two private security companies have entered the top 500 firms list.
Some three of every 1000 firms in the country do business in this emerging sector.
The acceleration of spending on private guards has already surpassed the overall income items of the budget, Cumhuriyet noted, which means the share of this specific spending item is on the fast track.
According to police figures, the number of people who hold private security guard certificates in the country exceeded 1 million at the beginning of this year.
The police grant the certificates, but TOBB figures reveal that more than half of them are not employed in the sector.
Only a limited number of people employed in the sector hold the right to carry firearms.