The government see TMMOB as "an obstacle against their dirty aims and games of land speculation over cities," TMMOB President Mehmet Soğancı (C) said July 10. DHA photo
The Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) has rebuked the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for attempting to crush the association, long a thorn in the side of the government, with a late-night bill designed to usurp many of the group’s authorities.
In a last-minute addendum to a proposal introduced as a part of an omnibus bill, TMMOB’s authority to grant permits and visas to “mapping, planning, etude and projects” in return for a monetary payment was transferred to the Environment and Urban Planning Ministry. The granting of permits is a key source of funding for TMMOB.
“The AKP government, which wants to create a ‘rose garden without thorns’ by disposing of TMMOB, whom they see as an obstacle against their dirty aims and games of land speculation over cities, are using an operation conducted at midnight to make the chambers associated with TMMOB, which are against the looting of the country’s resources, dysfunctional,” TMMOB President Mehmet Soğancı said in a statement, adding that their rights, authorities and duties were being usurped in violation of the Constitution.
The AKP’s move is widely being regarded as a reaction to TMMOB’s leading role in the Gezi Park unrest, but many have also argued that the decision came as a response to the association’s decades-long, active role as a pressure group.
“TMMOB will never side with those saying ‘long live my Sultan;’ it will persistently keep on saying ‘the Emperor has no clothes,’” Soğancı said.