Police Special Operations elevated to ministry status

Turkey’s Special Operations Directorate, the police’s tactical unit, has been promoted to its own ministry by a circular published in Turkey’s official gazette, pro-government newspaper HaberTürk said.

The directorate’s SWAT-type teams were involved in more than 2,000 operations in conjunction with other Turkish security services over the course of 2017, the majority in anti-terror operations.

However, they have also been known to be called out as backup at protests where police fear they might lose control.

The headquarters of the directorate, located on the outskirts of Ankara, were one of the principal targets of the coup plotters during the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt.