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Active citizenship and community policing in Turkey

Kabukcu, Gökhan
In this study, it is aimed to examine the community policing model in the active citizenship and civil renewal context. The study begins with investigating basic concepts and theories of citizenship, good governance, crime prevention, policing models and interconnection of concepts. Community policing relies on the concept of active citizenship that requires active involvement of citizens into decision making mechanism of public institutions to tackle the problems of community. Community policing is also supposed to be a police reform in the light of governance principles. The structure and working principles of police organization should be reviewed according to these principles. In this framework, community policing efforts of Turkish police, its reflections in society and the needs of police organization are analyzed. It is tried to reach a comprehensive explanation about the implementation of community policing model. To reach the goal of the study interviews held with citizens and police officers. The results of interviews provide an opportunity to comprehend the facts and to determine the view of public on the possible related changes in practice. At the end of the study, it can be said that community policing has democratic policing and problem solving functions but the core element of this model, participation, is a complex and dynamic process that is highly unpredictable and difficult to control. In addition, citizen-focused policing requires a cultural and operational reform. That is why, it is not an easy transformation process. It is concluded that community policing is an applicable model for Turkish Police with its challenges.