On 5th of October 2017, PODEM organized a workshop in Istanbul entitled as “Civil Society Involvement in Security Governance: The Case of Turkey in a Comparative Perspective” with the support of the Raul Wallenberg Institute.
During the last few years , security-oriented problems have emerged in many countries including Turkey, in a way that they are creating a considerable impact on the civil life. This workshop aimed to create a public debate on the conformity of the security measures to the democratic principles, to what extent these measures would contribute to the public trust, and through and under which conditions the state would observe the needs and expectations of the civil society, and how organizational structure of the security institutions would be influential on police-citizen relations.
Among the participants, there were academics specialized on security institutions and civil society studies, researchers from civil society groups and other relevant people from public institutions. The workshop discussions focused on diverse perceptions of the civil society and security institutions towards the concept of security and security governance. Besides, comparative analyses by the experts from countries that have gone through similar security crises and state of emergency added valuable insights into the debate.
Among the speakers from Turkey, Ahmet Erkan Koca, Cuma Çiçek and Mehmet Ali Çalışkan presented their research and shared their ideas on the impact of security policies on civic life and the current structure of the civil society organizations in Turkey. Özge Genç of PODEM, presented the findings of a very recent research on police perceptions towards their own profession and institution, which was carried out last year with the police officers in Istanbul from diverse rankings. Speakers joining us from abroad, including Sebastian Roché and Max-Valentin Robert; Mike Hough; Peter F. Sheridan; and Yezid Sayigh shared their valuable insights and research on (consecutively ) France; United Kingdom; North Ireland; and Arab countries. Their speeches addressed the civil society perceptions towards the security measures, the impact of the organizational justice on police-citizen relations and the civil society’s potential to have an influence on the design and implementation of the security policies.