The Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) issued a press release on the pending "Building Inspection" Draft Bill and the "Disaster Law" that came into force on May 16 through the votes of deputies from the incumbent Justice and Development Party (AKP.)
Serhat Göke from the Chamber of Mechanical Engineers, Süleyman Solmaz, the Secretary of TMMOB's Istanbul Provincial Coordination Council, Hüseyin Kargın from the Chamber of Architects and Prof. Oğuz Gündoğdu attended the press meeting.
Law No: 6306 entitled the "Law on the Transformation of Areas Under Disaster Risk" and the draft bill called the "Law on Building Inspection and the Amendment of Certain Laws" are bringing professional activities under the control of capital, according to the press release.
"Laws that plunder nature and history"
The "legal blows" to privatize every stage of city and building production processes are coming through at breakneck speed, Hüseyin Kargın said during the meeting.
"[The government] is rendering our cities more vulnerable to disasters through laws and administrative regulations that amount to plundering nature and history and which aim for 'profiteering' under the [disguise] of 'urban transformation'," he said.
The draft bill claims that engineering and architectural services in Turkey have failed to achieve success and that the "Technical Counseling Institutions" that are to be established following the ratification of the bill are going to reverse this trend, according to TMMOB's statement.
These new institutions, however, are going to entirely subordinate the professional fields of engineering, architecture and urban planning to the control of capital, Kargın explained.
"We are going to turn into paid employees that serve [the needs of] capital and the government. We are progressively going to lose our jobs and become slaves," he said.
"Regulations circumvent professional chambers"
The TMMOB also said that 84 regulations that came into force on April 3 to "reduce redtape and simplify procedures" have not only trimmed their colleagues' professional and personal rights while causing irreversible damage to professional occupations but also circumvented the TMMOB and other related professional chambers.
"The government wants to circumvent the TMMOB, a constitutional professional institution for engineering services, and other related chambers because it wants a 'rose garden without any thorns.' This amounts to even greater acts of profiteering," he said.
The ongoing "urban transformation" projects are inadequate to reduce the destructive effects of earthquakes, and the government's efforts to shun the TMMOB will only serve to cause greater problems in public health and security, given the fact that existing buildings in Turkey are already in bad shape, according to the statement.
Prof. Oğuz Gündoğdu also spoke about the lack of self-confidence in Turkey:
"The Japanese have a greater say than us despite the fact that they do not know the country as intimately as we do. The system works with a foreign company [operating] next to a domestic one. We do not understand this. Do they not have confidence in us?" he said. (SŞK/HK)