New draft bill opens way for foreign employment in Turkey

New draft bill opens way for foreign employment in Turkey

Erdinç Çelikkan ANKARA
New draft bill opens way for foreign employment in Turkey

DHA Photo

A new draft bill regulating permission to work for foreigners in Turkey will open the path for foreigners to work in many jobs that need a specific profession with an “extraordinary” work permit.

The “draft bill on the employment of foreigners,” which was presented to parliament to be discussed and voted on, will widen the jobs in which foreigners can work.

While an utmost one year work permit will be given to foreigners on their first application, this will be extended further by two or three years upon their application for an extension.

Foreigners who hold long-time residence permits or who already hold eight-year legal work permits will be granted an indefinite work permit. The duration of the work permits of foreigners who will be granted “extraordinary” work permits due to their educational and professional abilities will also be indefinite.

Foreign engineers and architects who have graduated from a Turkish university or from a university abroad but hold a certificate of equivalency will be allowed to perform their professions in Turkey.

Mehmet Soğancı, head of Turkey’s Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB), which must request written permission from the Environment and Urbanization Ministry to attend symposiums, congresses and association meetings held abroad, according to a communiqué released in the Official Gazette on Dec. 24, 2014 said the new regulation would allow people with “doubtful” engineering qualifications to work in Turkey.

“They are opening the door to everyone without looking at their schools, qualifications and countries,” said Soğancı. “This regulation … eliminates the supervision mechanism of the people who come from abroad. Are they illegal, fake or have a professional license? Who will determine this?”

Soğancı said most of the architects and engineers would come from third world countries and will probably be less educated than their Turkish counterparts.

“There is no meaning to pass this law when many qualified engineers and architects are unemployed in Turkey. … It is vital for a scale to be set to evaluate the people coming from abroad. I wish they would draw the draft bill regarding foreigners back from parliament,” said Soğancı.

The TMMOB has been in controversy with the government due to the latter’s policies, especially regarding urbanization and environment.

The government has sent an omnibus bill to parliament that also includes the law changing the TMMOB’s regulation. The draft bill aims at ending the autonomy of TMMOB, which have become well-known for opening lawsuits against controversial construction projects across the country.

No regulations prepared by the TMMOB will enter into force before advice and approval is received from the Environment and Urbanization Ministry, according to the bill. The TMMOB will also lose its public institutional structure and will no longer have the authority to file lawsuits against construction projects.