39,000 security personnel to be on duty on New Year’s Eve in Istanbul
The director of Istanbul undercover police units announced on Dec. 29 that security measures have been upgraded for New Year celebrations in Turkey’s most populous city.
A total of 39,000 security personnel will be on duty on New Year’s Eve across the city to ensure the security at the maximum level, Zafer Baybaba told reporters at the Taksim Square.
“We will ensure security with 39,000 personnel, including night watchmen whom we refer to as ‘Night Eagles,’ on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 for 24 hours. As part of these measures, 17,000 personnel will be on duty in the Beyoğlu district,” said Baybaba.
Among the security personnel will be also the mounted units of the Istanbul police forces, said Baybaba. Accordingly, 20 police officers will ride their horses in the most populated areas of the city.
Also, police will patrol the squares and avenues with two native Central Anatolian sheep dogs - Kangal and Akbaş.
The authorities will monitor surveillance footage from cameras placed around Taksim Square and the famous İstiklal Avenue and notify security forces if they spot any suspicious movement.
Some of the roads will be closed on New Year’s Eve due to security reasons, said Baybaba. “All of the roads that lead to the İstiklal Avenue will be closed as of 3 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. The roads that we have announced before in Kadıköy, Sarıyer, Şişli, and Beyoğlu districts will be gradually closed to traffic as of 3 p.m.,” he said.
The entrance of heavy tonnage vehicles such as trucks, lorries and concrete mixers will not be allowed in the Sarıyer, Şişli, Beşiktaş, Beyoğlu, Fatih, Bakırköy and Kadıköy districts starting from 8 a.m. on Dec. 31 until 8 a.m. on Jan. 1, he said.
Baybaba also said as part of the tightened security measures, the Istanbul police had stepped up ID checks. Accordingly, as of Dec. 21, police had conducted over 1.5 million ID checks and detained 4,127 people who were sought over various charges.
“Inspections in our province’s shopping malls and squares have intensified. Inside and outside subway stations and roads leading to the subways are monitored by 6,000 cameras and individuals, bags, luggage, and packages that are seen as suspicious are immediately analyzed by our teams,” Baybaba said.