TODAY’S – Gov’t seeks TMMOB members to require travel permission

Gov’t seeks TMMOB members to require travel permissionMembers of the Turkish Union of Engineers and Architectsand#39 Chambers (TMMOB) will be required to obtain permission from the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning to travel abroad for conferences, according to an announcement published in the Official Gazette on Thursday.Architects and engineers will be required to obtain permission for international travel 15 days prior to departure.

The decision has been condemned by the TMMOB, who see it as a direct attempt to punish the group for its critical stance on controversial urban projects supported by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party).andldquoItand#39s as if the [Environment and Urban Planning] Minister [Idris Gulluce] had a dream, then woke up the next day and prepared this announcement.

Think about it for a second: We supposedly now have to obtain permission from the ministry to attend an international conference. The world will laugh at this,andrdquo said TMMOB President Mehmet SoIancI.

TMMOB had taken a vocal and critical stance towards the governmentand#39s plan to build an Ottoman military barracks over Istanbuland#39s Gezi Park, and has opposed other projects such as the construction of Istanbuland#39s third airport and the third Bosporus bridge.Reports from earlier this month said the government is attempting to restructure TMMOB via an amendment put forth by the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning, a move that TMMOB interprets as a measure to weaken the group.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman