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Monday, January 14, 2008       Free Headline Alerts

Thousands of cameras looking for trouble on the streets of Istanbul

ANKARA — Turkey has expanded its command, control, communications, computers and intelligence systems to monitor insurgency activities in urban areas.

Istanbul Police Chief Celalettin Cerrah said 1,350 new cameras were installed in the streets of the city in addition to the thousands already in place. Cerrah said the C4I system helped identify those behind a series of attacks on cars throughout Istanbul.

The C4I system has been criticized by some residents who termed them intrusive. Critics said the system has instilled fear in ordinary citizens of being arrested on charges of loitering or drinking beer outside their homes.

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The Turkish Interior Ministry has expanded the Mobile Electronic System Integration Project in such cities as Istanbul and Izmir, Middle East Newsline reported. The system was installed in Istanbul in 2004, with around 2,000 cameras operating throughout Turkey's largest city.

The C4I system has helped police and security forces respond to crime and insurgency attacks in Istanbul, the target of the Kurdish Workers Party. In 2007, a total of 550 cameras were installed on the city's ferry system.

Officials said the cameras would help monitor the ferry system, deemed as a target of the PKK and other insurgency groups. They said the cameras were linked to police stations around the city.

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