TEOMAN ERİŞ ALANYA - Doğan News Agency
Some locals in Alanya argue that the popular Mediterranean resort town must have foreign civil servants, especially in the police force. Supporters of the idea say foreigners residing in Alanya would feel more comfortable and secure, while the critics argue no state would allow foreign police officers to wander the streets
Inspired by an exercise in Croatia, some locals in the Mediterranean resort town of Alanya argue that the town, which has a significant German population, should have German police officers.
In Croatia, two German police officers patrolled the Istrian peninsula, a very popular spot among German tourists, alongside their Croatian colleagues during the months of July and August, at the peak of the tourist season. Their main responsibility was to offer advice to German tourists. More than 1 million Germans are estimated to visit Croatia’s Adriatic coastline annually.
In addition to hundreds of thousands of German tourists visiting Alanya every year, over 10,000 German citizens are home owners and reside in the popular resort town. That is why some tourism sector representatives are for the idea, arguing that having police officers of their own nationality would increase the tourists’ confidence.
Gülçin Güner, chairwoman of the Alanya Tourism Managers Association, or ALTİD, told Doğan news agency that the Antalya Governor’s Office had been preparing a project similar to the one in Croatia. She said that the governor’s office is also working to make it possible for Antalya residents of foreign origin to work in public services. “There are attempts being made to hire retired foreign police officers living in Antalya for the police force,” Güner said, adding: “We, as the hoteliers, are in favor of such a project. They are both familiar with the local culture and the foreigners’ culture. They will be successful.”
Faik Kaptanoğlu of the Foundation for Alanya Tourism and Promotion, or ALTAV, said he discussed the issue with Antalya Governor Aladdin Yüksel during his visit to Alanya. “He [the governor] told me that his office would make such a request from the Interior Ministry for Alanya,” Kaptanoğlu said. “The Interior Ministry needs to prepare the necessary regulations for German police officers to work here. But I see no problems with Germans being police officers, it would be nice.”
Alanya Chamber of Commerce and Industry, or ATSO, Chairman Kerim Aydoğan thinks having German police officers on the streets of Alanya is great idea. “Seeing their own people in uniforms will increase the confidence of foreigners here,” he said. “Our police officers are great, of course, but they are still ‘not Germans.’” Aydoğan said, adding that foreigners must take positions not only in the police force but also in the entire public services, which will create a “warmer atmosphere” for the foreigners in Alanya.
But the idea also has its critics. One of them is Fahri Yiğit, chairman of the Turkish-German Friendship Association, who thinks that the implementation of such a project will “humiliate the Turkish police.”
“Besides, our state will never accept such a proposition,” he said. “Our police are very good, in fact better than the Germans. There are no security problems in Alanya, all of the German tourists and Germans living here are safe.”
Mustafa Kahya, chairman of Alanya Cleopatra Hoteliers Association, was even harsher on the issue. “Who needs the German police when we have our own security forces,” he told Doğan news agency. “This is not a republic.”