Law No: 5188
Law on Private Security Services
Date of Acceptance : 10.6.2004
ARTICLE 1. – The aim of this Law is to determine the bases and procedures related with the performance of private security services in a nature complementary to the public safety/security.
ARTICLE 2. – This Law covers the issues regarding the granting of private security permit, licensing and auditing the persons and agencies to provide this service.
Private security permit
ARTICLE 3. – The guarding of persons with armed personnel, establishment of a private security unit under the structure of institutions and enterprises or making the security service provided by companies depends on the permission of the governor based on the decision of the private security committee. Private security permit can be granted by the governor, without seeking for committee decision, in temporary or emergent situations such meeting, concert, stage shows and similar activities; money or valuable commodity transfer.
Based on the request of the persons and institutions, by considering their guarding and security need, it can be permitted for the security service to be provided by the hand of the personnel to be employed for this purpose, establishment of private security unit under the structure of institutions and enterprises and making the security service provided by companies. The fact that a private security unit having been established under the structure of an institution does not pose a hindrance for taking service from security companies as well.
The committee is authorized to determine the maximum amount and nature of the weapon and equipment that the guarding and security service personnel can possess or carry and also, in necessary cases, the other physical and instrumental security precautions. The international liabilities regarding the security precautions to be taken at places like airports and sea ports are reserved.
The private security application other than temporary cases is concluded with the committee’s decision and the governor’s approval provided that the application is made at least one month beforehand.
Private security committee
ARTICLE 4. – The private security committee is comprised of representatives of provincial security directorate, provincial gendarmerie command, chamber of trade presidency and chamber of industry presidency, under the chairmanship of a governor deputy to be commissioned by the governor to take decisions related with private security indicated in this Law. In the provinces where there is no chamber of industry, the representative of the chamber of trade and industry presidency attends to the committee. The representative of the person or institution that has applied for obtaining private security permit or the cancellation of this application attends the related committee meeting as a member. The Committee takes its decisions with vote majority, in case the votes are equal, the side that the chairman is on is deemed as the majority, abstaining votes are not allowed.
Private security companies
ARTICLE 5. – The companies to service in the private security field are subject to the permit of the ministry of Internal Affairs. For granting the activity permit, the company shares have to be written to the name and the field of activity should be exclusively guarding and security service. The private security companies have to inform of their branches to the Ministry and the related governorship in a written form within one month and inform their share transfers to the Ministry within one month.
The establishment of private security company by foreign persons and the foreign companies to provide private security service in Turkey is subject to reciprocity basis.
The conditions at (a) and (d) clauses of article 10 of this Law is sought at the founders and managers of private security companies. The managers should also be a graduate from a four-year high school, bear the condition at (e) clause of article 10 of this Law and have successfully completed the private security basic training indicated at article 14.
In the event of loss of the qualifications sought for the founders and managers of private security companies, this failure should be corrected, or the founder(s) or manager(s) causing this failure should be replaced within two months; or otherwise the company’s operation license is cancelled.
A written agreement should be executed for the guarding and security services to be provided by the private security companies to third persons and organizations. A copy of this service agreement should be delivered to the governorship by the related private security company at least one week prior to commencement of such guarding and security services. The period condition is not sought for emergent and temporary guarding and security services.
ARTICLE 6. - Public administrators are authorized to supervise and audit the private security measures taken in public places such as airports, ports, customs, railway and other stations, and in places where mass activities such as sport contests and stage performances are held, and request additional measures to be taken where public security necessitates.
The powers vested to Governors and District Governors by the Provincial Administration Law no. 5442 are reserved and not affected by the provisions of this Law for the sake of public security. Private security units and private security personnel are obliged to abide by and fulfill the orders of the public administrator and the head of the police or gendarmerie force during enforcement of such vested powers.
Private Security Officers
The authorities of the private security officers
ARTICLE 7. – The powers of the private security personnel are:
a) Ensuring that the people wishing to enter to the site they are to guard and secure, pass through the metal detectors, and searching them by manual metal detectors, and having their belongings pass through X-ray detectors or similar other security systems;
b). In the case of mass activities such as meetings, concerts, sport contests, stage performances and similar other activities, and in funerals and wedding ceremonies; asking for identification of the visitors or participants, ensuring that they pass through the metal detectors, searching them by manual metal detectors, and having their belongings pass through X-ray detectors or similar other security systems;
c). Capturing according to article 90 of the Criminal Procedures Law;
d) Capturing and searching, in their assignment area, the people for whom a warrant of capture or a warrant of arrest is issued;
e) Entering the work places and residences in their assignment area in cases of natural catastrophes such as fire and earthquake, or in cases where help is requested;
f) Asking for identification card, ensuring the people pass through metal detectors, searching these people by manual metal detectors and having their belongings pass through X-ray detectors or similar other security systems at public transportation buildings and facilities such as airports, ports, railway or other stations;
g) Retaining the objects and articles constituting a crime or which may be evidence of a crime found during the search, or articles which, though not of criminal nature, can be hazardous, on the condition of informing police or gendarmerie immediately;
h) Retaining the abandoned or found articles;
i) Capturing a person in order to protect him from a present and imminent danger threatening his body or health;
j) Protecting the place of incident and the evidences of crime, and for this purpose, capturing according to and in the meaning of the Article 157 of Criminal Procedures Law; and
k) Using force in the meaning of the Article 981 of Turkish Civil Law, Article 52 of the Code of Obligations or Articles 24-25 of Turkish Criminal Code.
The authority to possess and carry a weapon
ARTICLE 8. – The Committee shall determine the numbers and features of the fire arms that can be possessed depending on the nature of the guarding and security services.
However, employment of gunned private security personnel is not allowed in education and training institutions, health centers, businesses engaged in fortune games, and public places where alcoholic beverages are served. Private security personnel can not be armed when on duty in activities such as private gatherings, sport contests, or stage performances or similar other activities.
Guns and equipment to be employed in guard and security services shall be provided by the related individual or organization. Private security companies can not purchase and possess fire guns. However, license for purchase, possess/use, and carry guns can be granted to private security companies for the purposes of transportation of money and valuables, and temporary guard and security services; and to institutions giving private security education and training for the purpose of use in the trainings with guns, by a decision of the Committee and upon approval of the Governor.
Field of Duty
ARTICLE 9. – Private security personnel can enforce the powers listed in article 7 only within the duration and area of their assignment.
Private security personnel can not take their guns outside the area of their assignment. In cases where a route is embedded in the definition of the assignment; such as when a person accused of a committed crime or a person strongly suspected of committing a crime is followed, when preventive measures are taken against attacks from outside, during the transportation of money and valuables, while guarding a person, and during funerals; such route is deemed as the area of assignment. In compulsory conditions, the area of assignment can be extended by a decision of the Committee.
Incidents which necessitate use of force and capture are informed to the police by the fastest means; and the person captured and the goods held are handed over to the police.
The conditions to be sought at the private security officers
ARTICLE 10. – Private security personnel should possess the following qualifications:
a) To be a Turkish citizen
b) To be a graduate of high school or an equivalent school
c) To be over the age 18
d) Save for the negligent offences, not to be sentenced to heavy imprisonment or imprisonment for a period longer than six months, or, even though he benefited from a pardon, not being convicted of crimes against the personality of state, or crimes of embezzlement, subornation, bribery, theft, swindling, breach of confidence, falsification, fraudulent bankruptcy, smuggling other than for own use and consumption, intriguing official public tenders and purchases, disclosing State secrets, making insinuating remarks to women, molestation, sexual molestation, rape, kidnapping and detaining small girls, women or children, inciting to prostitution, acting as an intermediary in prostitution, using drugs, or drug smuggling
e) Not to be barred from public rights
f) Not to have a handicap bodily or mentally preventing the performance of the assignment
g) To complete successfully the private security basic training indicated at article 14.
ARTICLE 11. – A security investigation is carried out by the Governorship for the people to be employed as private security personnel, and as manager in private security companies and in institutions giving private security training. Those who get a positive resulting report from this investigation are given a work license (permit) by the governorship valid for a period of five years on condition that they complete the private security basic training indicated at article 14 of this Law. The security investigation for the private security personnel who will not carry a gun is sufficed to cover only the registrations and archives. Security investigation and exploration of archive are completed within one month.
The private security personnel that have started their duty are informed by the employer to the governorship within fifteen days.
To renew the work permit, the security investigation result should be affirmative and the private security renewal training indicated at article 14 of this Law should have been successfully completed.
The work license is cancelled in case of disqualification for any of the conditions set for employment as a private security personnel.
As for those who are retired from the police forces and those who resigned from the police forces by their own will after at least five years of active service, the private security basic training is not required for a period of five years after retirement or resignation.
ARTICLE 12. – Private security personnel are given an identification card by the governorship. The identification card states the name and surname of the security personnel holding the card, and whether he is licensed to carry a gun or not.
The identification card is attached to the bearer’s collar throughout the duration of his assignment, such that everybody within the area of assignment can see it. The security personnel not holding the identification card on them can not use the powers vested to them as listed in article 7 of this Law.
The private security personnel that have left their duty for whatsoever reason are informed by the employer to the governorship within fifteen days.
ARTICLE 13. – Private security personnel wear uniforms in the area and within the term of their assignment. The Committee may grant permission for working in civil dresses when considered necessary depending on the peculiarity of the assignment and business.
ARTICLE 14. – The private security basic training is arranged as to be comprised of theoretical and practical training and gun training (as to be one hundred and twenty course hours) and the renewal training is arranged as to be not less than sixty course hours. The graduates of the existing security departments or higher vocational schools of the universities, or of those security departments or higher vocational schools that may be launched within the universities in the future shall be exempt from the requirement of the private security basic training (not from the gun training) for a period of five years after graduation.
The private security training can be given by the Ministry of Internal Affairs against payment, or can be given by private training institutions with the permission of the Ministry. The founders and managers of the institutions to give private security training are required to bear the conditions indicated at the third paragraph of article 5.
The nature, curriculum of the private security training, the conditions to be sought at the trainers and training centers and the procedures and principles related with the determination of qualification as a result of training are regulated with a regulation.
ARTICLE 15. - Compensation within the frame of the amounts and principles set forth in the employment contract or in the collective labor contract is paid to the private security personnel who are wounded or disabled, or to the statutory heirs of such personnel who die during the execution of the duties and assignments listed under the law. However, in case a judgment for the payment of a higher compensation is given by a court in accordance with the general provisions of the Law, the amounts paid under the employment contract or the collective labor agreement are deducted from this amount.
The compensation to be paid under the provisions of the first paragraph is not associated with and does not preclude payment of other compensations to be paid under the Labor Law no. 4857.
The highest of the compensation stated in the employment contract, or the compensation stated in the collective labor contract, or the compensation calculated according to the provisions of the Law 2330 on Cash Compensation and Salary Payments will be paid to the private security personnel who are wounded or disabled, or to the statutory heirs of the private security personnel who die during the execution of the assignments listed in the law in public institutions and organizations.
Bans and Punitive Provisions
Ban to employ outside the assignment
ARTICLE 16. – Private security personnel can not be employed outside the guarding and security services stated under the Law.
Ban to strike
ARTICLE 17. – Private security personnel can not participate to strikes.
Ban to dismiss
ARTICLE 18. – Private security personnel can not be dismissed due to lockout.
Criminal offenses and penalties
ARTICLE 19. – The criminal offenses and penalties stipulated in this Law are as follows:
a) 3 months to 1 year of imprisonment and a judicial monetary penalty are inflicted upon persons, or managers of companies, who employ private security personnel without obtaining a private security license indicated at article 3 of this Law.
b) 3 months to 1 year of imprisonment and a judicial monetary penalty up to 5000 days are inflicted upon the founders and managers of the companies that have private security operations without obtaining the license indicated at article 5 of this Law, and upon the managers of companies and organizations that establish a private security unit without the permission to be granted as indicated at article 3 of this Law, and upon the managers of the companies and institutions that give private security training without due permission to be granted as indicated at article 14 of this Law. Persons thus punished lose their qualification to become a founder and manager in private security companies and in institutions that give private security training.
c) Persons, institutions, organizations or companies that employ persons who are not granted a work license as per article 11 of this law, are inflicted 3 months to 1 year of heavy imprisonment for each person thus employed. They are additionally inflicted to the relevant security measures if and when such employment includes carrying a gun.
d) Persons, or managers of institutions, organizations and companies which employ private security personnel without making the private security financial liability insurance set forth at article 21 of the Law, are inflicted to a judicial monetary penalty of 150 days for each person they employ.
e) Persons, or managers of institutions, organizations and companies which falsely publicize or advertise that they are giving private security service or private security training without obtaining the operation license set forth by the Law are inflicted to an imprisonment of up to six months and a minimum judicial monetary penalty of 50 days.
Administrative offenses and penalties
ARTICLE 20. – The administrative offenses and penalties stipulated in this Law are as follows:
a) Private security companies that fail to inform the governorship in writing about the private security service to be provided to other persons, companies and organizations within the time period indicated at article 5 are inflicted to an administrative fine of one thousand Turkish Liras for each failure of notice.
b) Persons, or managers of institutions, organizations or companies that fail to implement the additional measures requested by the public administrators pursuant to article 6 are inflicted to an administrative fine of two thousand Turkish Liras.
c) Private security personnel who breach the ban to participate a strike as indicated at article 17, who use their fire guns contrary to the Law or outside their area of assignment, and who let others use their private security cards are subject to an administrative fine of one thousand Turkish Liras, and their work license is cancelled. Such persons can not work as private security personnel thereafter.
d) An administrative fine of two thousand Turkish Liras is inflicted upon the persons, or managers of institutions, organizations or companies which fail to take actions for remedying the defects and deficiencies detected as per article 22.
e) Persons, or managers of institutions, organizations or companies which employ the private security personnel in fields other than the guarding and security services are inflicted to an administrative fine of one thousand Turkish Liras for each such employment.
f) The persons who do not fulfill the notifications at the second paragraph of article 11 and the third paragraph of article 12 within the foreseen time frame are inflicted to an administrative fine of one billion Turkish Liras.
The decisions of administrative fines under this Article are taken by the highest ranking public administrator of that place. Such decisions are communicated to the interested parties pursuant to the provisions of the Notification Act no. 7201. Objections to the fines imposed under this Article can be made to the competent local administrative court within no later than seven days of receipt of the notice thereof. Objection does not hinder the enforcement of the penalty. The objections are finalized within the shortest time possible through examination of documents, except where otherwise deemed necessary. Judgments taken upon objection by the local administrative court can be appealed in the regional administrative court. Judgments of the Regional Administrative Court are in any case final. Administrative fines imposed pursuant to the Law are collected by the Ministry of Finance upon a notice of the related governorship or district governorship, in accordance with the provisions of Law no. 6183 about Collection Procedures of the Public Receivables.
Financial Liability Insurance for Private Security
ARTICLE 21. – Real persons and private security companies have to take out and maintain financial liability insurance for private security for the purpose of indemnification of the possible damages to third parties that may be inflicted by the private security personnel employed by them. The principles and procedures of this financial liability insurance for private security are determined by the Undersecretariat of Treasury.
Financial liability insurance for private security under this Article will be taken out from insurance companies authorized to work in the related insurance branch in Turkey. These insurance companies are obliged to sell and make financial liability insurance for private security. Insurance companies rejecting to comply with this obligation are fined to eight billion Turkish liras by the Treasury Undersecretary. The provisions of the second paragraph of article 20 are applied for the collection and objection procedures for this fine.
ARTICLE 22. – The Ministry of Internal Affairs and governorships may at any time supervise and audit the private security companies, private security forces and private training institution. The content, scope, procedures and principles of this audit is determined by regulation.
The deficiencies determined as a result of the audit must be eliminated by the related person, institution, enterprise or companies within the time period granted.
Additionally, operation license of the private security companies and private security training institutions is cancelled if they are found out to be operating outside their purpose or if they are found out to have engaged in any criminal activity. The founders and managers of the companies or institutions whose operations are so cancelled lose their qualification to become founders and managers in any and all private security companies and institutions giving private security training.
ARTICLE 23. – Private security personnel are considered as civil servants (public officers) for the purposes of the Turkish Criminal Code.
Those who offend them by reason of performance of their duties are punished as if they have offended a Civil Servant.
ARTICLE 24. – Private security companies and institutions to give private security training are required to pay ten billion Turkish Liras as License Fee in order to obtain operation license, and private security personnel are required to pay two hundred million Turkish Liras as license fee in order to get work license, and these license fees are deposited to the Fiscal Department.
Application of re-valuation rate
ARTICLE 25. – The amounts to be paid as license fees stated in article 24 of the Law will be increased annually according to and over the re-valuation rate to be determined pursuant to Tax Procedures Law no. 213.
ARTICLE 26. – The regulation related to the application of this Law will be issued in three months by the Ministry of Internal Affairs as of the publication date of this Law.
ARTICLE 27. – This Law repeals and supersedes the Law About Protection and Security of Some Institutions and Organizations, no. 2495, dated 22.07.1981.
TEMPORARY ARTICLE 1. – It is deemed that the private security organizations that have been established according to Law no. 2495 at the effective date of this Law to have obtained private security permit and the private security staff to have obtained working permit for five years.
ARTICLE 28. – The article 19 and 20 of this Law shall become effective within nine months of the publication of this Law and the remaining article become effective as of the publication date.
ARTICLE 29. – The provisions of this law are executed by the Board of Ministers.