AEPC (Association of the European Police Colleges) was created in 1996 as a friendly and efficient network of police colleges from all over the European continent. It has 51 member colleges from 42 European and European neighboring countries. The application of Turkish National Police Academy(TNPA) was accepted during General Council Meeting(GCM), which was held in Romania on 23-25 October 2006. Then by, Prof. Dr. Yılmaz ÇOLAK was selected to the seat of Vice-Presidency during GCM, which was held in Riga, Latvia on 6-8 October 2014.
In this regard, Annual Conference and GCM of the association, of which we have still been carrying out Vice-Presidency, was held on 5-7 October 2016 in Antalya and hosted by Turkish National Police Academy. The main theme of the Conference was “Preventing Radicalization and Its Implementation in Police Training”. The main objective of the Conference were sharing knowledge and experiences among relevant police organizations and institutions in AEPC Member Countries with regard to policies, strategies, programs and best practices in the field of struggle with radicalization in terms of training. There were 42 representatives from 18 member countries who participated to the Conference.
In his welcoming speech, Prof. Dr. Yılmaz ÇOLAK, President of Turkish National Police Academy, also Vice President of AEPC remarked the unsuccessful military coup efforts in Turkey as the best example concerning effects of radicalization on terrorism.
Session 1, the title of which “Concepts, Issues and Processes related to Combating Radicalization”, started with speech of Fatma Ceren Yazgan who is Deputy Director General for Security Issues and Intelligence, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Turkey on cycle of radicalization. Following it, Bibi van Ginkel who is Senior Research Fellow at the Clingendael Institute (the Netherlands) made a presentation on the state of legislation in Europe concerning radicalization and radical groupings. Thirdly Dr. Omar Ashour from University of Exeter, UK made a presentation on the understanding and teaching radicalization and de-radicalization in terms of concepts and processes. Finally Darren Coventry HOWLETT from Ireland gave a comprehensive information on Radicalization Awareness Network (RAN), Radicalization Awareness Network Police and Law Enforcement Working Groups (RAN POL) and RAN POL Trainings on Radicalization Issue. After question-answer part, the first session was ended.
In session 2, participants were divided into 3 working groups as to examine subtitles of main theme:
- International Cooperation against Radicalization and Radical Groups
- Suggestions about which Courses are and should be offered into Police Training to Combat Radicalization
- Suggestions about How to Combat Radicalization in the field via Training
At the end of this session, the outcomes were presented to all participants and public opinion(?) by a moderator from each group.
In the last session of the conference, the final declaration, which is revealing the current situation of the world-specially Europe in police training for preventing radicalization and combatting it and also proposing solutions as to be applied, was announced in consideration with the presentations that were delivered during conference. It will be published on AEPC web site ( https://www.aepc.net/ )
On the 7th October 2016, General Council Meeting was made among AEPC member countries and issues on agenda was tackled. After the meeting the participants passed to the social programme in Antalya.