Last week Komutan Durmuş Karatepe of the Üzümlü Jandarma, met with residents of Üzümlü to discuss ways they could work together to keep the people and properties in Üzümlü safe and secure.

The meeting was organised and facilitated by Süleyman Akbay of Oceanwide Properties.

Fethiye Times went along.

Please note, the information given here is specific to Üzümlü and may differ in other areas. 

Notes from a meeting between Komutan Durmuş Karatepe (Üzümlü Jandarma) and local residents.

The Jandarma Genel Komutanlığı (Gendarmerie General Command) is a service branch of the Turkish Armed Forces responsible for the maintenance of the public order in areas that fall outside the jursidiction of police forces (generally in rural areas), as well as assuring internal security and general border control along with carrying out other specific duties assigned to it by certain laws and regulations.

Üzümlü comes under the jurisdiction of the Jandarma and Komutan Durmuş Karatepe is keen to build on the relationship with the local community. He had a clear message that, whilst they are there as a security force to prevent and deal with crimes, the most important thing is the lives and safety of the people.

Burglaries in Üzümlü are down 55% on the same period in 2017. 40-45% of these burglaries are forced entry crimes with the remainder being crimes of opportunity. Burglaries tend to be committed by people who are familiar with Üzümlü – i.e workmen who may pass on information about properties.

Crime prevention

Property owners can minimise the risk of burglary by being vigilant at all times, especially when there are unfamiliar people in the area.

CCTV cameras can be used on private property but not in public areas without the relevant permissions. The Jandarma will accept footage from cameras to assist their investigation.

There are CCTV cameras in the village that do not work. There is currently no budget for repairs.

Durmuş will set up a database of residents in Üzümlü and asked that people take their Tapu (Title Deed) or Rental Agreement and register their property and who lives there.

Short-Term property rentals must be registered with the Jandarma who will issue you with a password to register your guests on the GİYKİMBİL system.

Inform the Jandarma when you have family or non-paying guests visiting (even if you will not be at the property). You must provide a copy of the guests passport signed by the property owner. This includes pet or house-sitters. If you are not at the property when your guests arrive, please ask them to register personally.

Inform the Jandarma if your property will be left empty for more than 15 days. Patrols will then be aware that the property owners are away and the property should be empty.

Opening hours for registration are 9am – 6pm.

There is a problem with graffiti in the village and Durmuş suggested using the mobile camera to catch the offenders.

The Jandarma patrol bewteen the hours of midnight and 05:30 both in a vehicles and on foot. The routes are chosen at random. Jandarma may stop anyone out on the streets and ask for ID. They may also ask where you have been and check. These measures are purely for your safety and security.

General Information

Residents should always carry ID with them at all times. Acceptable ID is Passport or Ikamet (Residency Permit). In Üzümlü, copies are acceptable as long as they show the correct information.

Turkish Citizens must carry ther Kimlik ID with them at all times.

Please note: Copies are acceptable in Üzümlü however, in Fethiye or other areas, you may be asked for originals.

You can drive in Turkey on a UK driving license for a period of six months. After six months you must convert your UK driving licence into a Turkish licence.

If you stay in Turkey continuously for more than 6 months, you must convert your UK driving licence into a Turkish licence. If however, you leave Turkey within the six-month period, your UK driving licence is valid for another six months on your return to Turkey. Provisional driving licences aren’t recognised.

When to call the Jandarma

You should call the Jandarma if, for example:

  • You witness any criminal activity
  • If you are physically threatened
  • You have evidence of a crime being planned

The Jandarma do not deal with non violent disputes with neighbours – you will need to seek legal advice on how to deal with those situations

Dogs barking, chickens in your garden etc. are dealt with by the Zabita and not the Jandarma. Whilst the Jandarma will do their best to help you, these non-serious calls may mean they are not immediately available to deal wth more serious issues that may arise.

What number to call

The direct Jandarma number is 156.

You can also call the 112 Emergency Call Centre. This works like 999 in the UK. There is an option for English speakers and they will direct you to the correct service.

If you are calling in an emergency make sure you know your address in full or (if you are not at home) note a landmark to enable the emergency services to find you.

Üzümlü Community Watch

This information was provided by Dave Roue

Üzümlü Community Watch, (UCW), is a Facebook Group that was formed in August 2009 by a group of concerned residents following a spate of burglaries in the Village and surrounding areas.

Modelled on the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme in the UK, the intention is to collate information from members reporting suspicious activity and then passing it on to the Jandarma for investigation.

In the early days of UCW burglaries were a very regular occurrence, some 20 per month. Within two years this had reduced to an average of one per month. Prior to the ex-pat community growth in Üzümlü in 2007, Jandarma records showed 57 burglaries per month. A number of initiatives were put in place, some of which are still in place today, and included regular meetings with the Jandarma to share intelligence.

There are currently some 260 members, many of who are resident in Üzümlü and the surrounding area. Some members only spend the summer months in the area but nevertheless have contributed to the overall success of the Group. It is a place to report any crime in the Üzümlü area and to give a heads up for members to be extra vigilant but more importantly, to report suspicious activity.

Crime in the Üzümlü area has reduced in recent times by some 55% and we would like to think that our group has had a small part to play by working with the Jandarma. The group posts are now monitored by Komutan Durmus Karatepe who firmly believes that by working together with the community he can further reduce the crime rate.

There is a sister group page that covers a wider area.

Crime in Fethiye/Calis/Ovacik/Hisaronu/Uzumlu/Kemer

Quite often information is shared between both groups which, with over 2000 members, reaches a much wider audience.

Please be vigilant and if you see anything suspicious, report it!

Thanks go to Süleyman Akbay of Oceanwide Properties for organising and facilitating the meeting.