Turkey has passed a controversial 'Nightwatchman' bill

Turkey's parliament on Wednesday passed a controversial bill that would authorize patrolling in the neighborhood, with critics accusing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of establishing a credible "militia."

The new law gives police the same powers as "night watchmen" who walk the streets at night to report thefts and disturbances.

Now they are allowed to carry firearms and have the authority to stop and search people.

With more than 28,000 members, the Night Watchman Institute - which is affiliated with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and has been for over 100 years - has grown significantly since the coup attempt on Erdogan in July 2016.

The bill's debate in parliament triggered heated exchanges, which also led to a deputation at Tuesday's feudal session.

Erdogan's AKP party, which is moving the bill, said the new rules could enable Nightwatchman more effectively and help law enforcement prevent theft and assault on the streets.

In the old Turkish films, guards patrolling the streets as philanthropic uncles, whistling between lips and looking for troublemakers.

But the opposition has accused Erdogan of power by establishing a loyal armed force.

Mahavir Pollat ​​of the main opposition CHP party said on Tuesday: "They are setting up militias using the Nightwatchman organization."

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