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New measures set to boost Turkish building sector

Turkey is aiming to boost the attractiveness of its building sector to foreign and domestic organisations alike by relaxing a number of rules and also tightening several regulations around safety.

According to the Turkish government, the new measures will harness the construction sector to eliminate bad practices, particularly relating to safety, as well as so-called unearned income gains in the sector.

The move is a response to calls from industry representatives to redefine the framework of the Turkish building sector by boosting both regulation and auditing, and by eliminating accidents on sites.

Best practice

One of the regulations is being rolled out by the Environment and Urban Planning Ministry and will audit contractors’ technical and financial competence, to classify them and increase potential penalties for malpractice.

This follows a communique on the methods and principles for the cancellation of contractor licences and actions taken again site managers and will see the ministry ban contractors who jeopardise lives and property or do business contrary to law.

Furthermore, any contractor whose licence number is cancelled will be prevented from acquiring new projects until the end of the duration of the punishment, with partners, business associates and employees also unable to receive licences during the same period.

It is hoped that by tightening regulations and safety, more domestic and foreign investors will move into the sphere and help to boost the Turkish construction industry.

Proven method

Such a move has proven successful in India, where the government has attempted to curb the amount of unauthorised construction activity by ramping up penalties for those who do not abide by the rules.

There, the South Corporation advised implementing a sharp increase in penalties and the discontinuation of electricity and water supplies to buildings where illegal construction activities were taking place.

In a period of just three days, South Corporation took action against 135 illegal structures, with two other corporations taking similar action against unauthorised construction - something that Turkey is aiming to replicate to act as a significant deterrent.

No-nonsense approach

The results in India have so far proven successful, and Turkey is aiming to take a similar hard-nosed approach to present the building sector as a place of opportunity for investors.

A ministry spokesman stated: "Our ministry has begun studies to take the contractor sector under control. The ones that violate the law and victimise citizens will be banned from the job."
The official also revealed that a second regulation that will classify contractor works is also set to be unveiled soon, providing further evidence of the ministry's intention to bring the sector in line with its global neighbours.

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