Turkish Union of Engineers and Architects slams gov’t intervention in bodies’ election process

The Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) has announced that they will not allow the government to intervene in democratic election processes of professional organizations under the pretext of COVID-19 measures.
Thursday, 08 October 2020 10:46

Turkey’s Ministry of Interior sent a circular letter on “Coronavirus Measures” to 81 Provincial Governorships on Oct 2. The circular rules that events are to be postponed until December 1, 2020. The government previously blocked the activities of opposition institutions under the pretext of the Covid-19 pandemic.

TMMOB Board of Directors convened after the 46th Ordinary General Assembly was postponed with the Ministry of Interior’s circular on the pretext of Covid-19.

"The government, which has made many arbitrary arrangements so far in order to control and disable professional organizations, now wants to intervene in the functioning of our boards under the name of the fight against the epidemic. We will not allow the government to intervene in the democratic election processes of professional organizations with constitutional status,” the Union Board said.

The statement noted that the government used the pandemic conditions to expand its spheres of power, and added: “While political party events and general assemblies attended by thousands of people continue, while the President organizes rallies wherever he goes, blocking the general assemblies of professional organizations is a decision taken for the needs of the government, not for the fight against the pandemic.”

The statement underlined that the government wants to usurp the democratic will of professional organizations: “We will never submit to the pressures and impositions of the ruling power from now on, as we did yesterday. We will continue to work on the Union not according to the arbitrary decisions of the government, but in line with the requirements of science and technique, the benefits of our country, the people and our colleagues.”

Recently, the elections of bar association were also postponed. Although the cancellation of the postponement decision was requested by the application of 24 bar associations, the Supreme Election Council (YSK) rejected the annulment request of the decision taken to postpone the bar association elections.

While the restrictions on the rights of the opposing political parties and organizations continue on the pretext of the pandemic, the ruling AKP continues its attempts to determine politics by using unlawful methods.