TMMOB or UCTEA (The Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects) is a professional organization with over 445.000 members. Its establishment is based on article 135 of the Turkish Constitution which regulates “Professional organizations having the characteristics of public institutions”
The ruling party’s frustration with the UCTEA derives from the Chamber’s role in Gezi protests where it was one of the main organizers. UCTEA also actively employs judicial remedies in order to prevent the implementation of the Government projects that would be detrimental to the environment and cultural heritage. The judicial proceedings initiated by the Chamber with a view to stopping the construction of the Presidential Palace is as an example to this effect.
Recently the Government removed this obstacle by issuing a regulation on 24/12/2014 which places the UCTEA under the administrative and financial control of The Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning. Furthermore the regulation puts into practice a provision of the Law on The Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (1954) which foresees that the representatives of the UCTEA, when participating in international conferences, should obtain permission from the Ministry. This provision itself was introduced in 1983 as a byproduct of the 1980 Military Coup and to this day it was never implemented.
This is yet another example of the Government’s intolerance against any opposition. This example shows us once again that the Government is determined not to permit any institutional pluralism which is the backbone of any democracy.
CHP Member of the Parliament