Citizen forces:

The politics of community policing in Turkey

by HAYAL AKARSU

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In the last 15 years the Turkish National Police have invested heavily in “community policing,” espousing the belief that a strong police‐public relationship will curtail authoritarian policing and police violence. Yet this reform has intensified popular desires for more policing and fostered a new type of citizen‐police subject, what I call citizen forces . The purportedly liberal tool of community policing turned the previously despised figure of the police informer into a respected practitioner of engaged, responsible, and vigilant citizenship. When functioning as ancillary police forces, citizen forces can help consolidate state power and aggravate state repression, especially against suspect Others. Emerging mostly at the neighborhood level, such forms of policing and politicization demonstrate the increasing complicity and mutual constitution of police and citizens, as well as the formation of state‐sponsored vigilantism. [police, policing , vigilantism , informing , reform , citizenship , Turkey ]