Top engineers and architects vow to fight against Erdogan’s “anti-democratic practices”
The Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB), a long-standing critic of the Turkish government that has been recently targeted by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said it will not bow to ruling authority’s “anti-democratic practices.”
Acting on the orders of Erdogan, Turkey’s Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag last week said work is underway to remove “Turkish” from the name of the TMMOB, along with the Turkish Medical Association (TTB), whom its head, Sebnem Korur Fincanci was arrested on terrorism charges over her remarks regarding Turkey’s chemical warfare allegations against PKK militants in Northern Iraq.
Following Bozdag’s announcement, Ankara public prosecution prepared an indictment for Fincani’s and her Central Council members’ removal off their posts.
Earlier in the week, Erdogan said he instructed relevant ministers to speed up the legislative work on transitioning to a new structure in professional organizations. “I believe that the fact that such a person, who insults her country and army by speaking in the language of the terrorist organization being the head of an institution whose name begins with “Turkish”, disturbs every member of our nation,” Erdogan said.
“We will not stay silent and we will fight against this initiative on a legal and democratic basis,” Emin Koramaz, the head of the TMMOB said on Monday, Mezopotamya news agency reported.
Erdogan’s “AKP [Justice and Development Party] wants a Turkey with one voice. This is a reflection of the pressure they’ve put on the society,” Koramaz said.
Koramaz stated that since 2011, the government was trying to destroy the constitutional status and institutional identity of the TMMOB.
The AKP is disturbed by TMMOB’s legal, democratic and scientific struggle towards its activities that cause public harm, Koramaz said. “It introduces legal regulations to shut down, silence, humiliate and crack TMMOB at every opportunity,” he said.
“We should fight together against AKP’s attacks on democratic organizations in Turkey that have spread to every area,” Koramaz said, adding that TMMOB is and will be in solidarity with everyone who struggles against anti-democratic and oppressive initiatives.