Hacı Bişkin / DUVAR
Although they save hundreds of lives during natural disasters, Turkish legislation fails to appoint fire stations as a professional organization, depriving employees of personal rights, Firefighters' Association Istanbul Chair Ömer Cansu said.
"We are legally considered municipal employees. Municipalities are sensitive enough to provide sufficient equipment, but we will continue to struggle as long as we're not allocated as a separate profession," Cansu said.
The association has held five separate workshops and reported back to the government on how to create a separate profession for their work, but haven't received any feedback.
"We don't only want to be remembered during earthquakes, fires or natural disasters."
Firefighters want to be connected to a central professional authority to even out working conditions across the country, a report by the organization for Disaster and Emergency Prevention and Intervention (AFADÖM) noted.
Firefighters are legally classified under the highest risk jobs, but are paid disproportionately low damages, which they would like to raise to the highest tier, the AFADÖM report added.
Firefighters also want a radical change in legislation concerning their branch of work to allow for the accommodation of their job's unique needs, the report said.Turkey rejoices miraculous rescue of toddler 65 hours after İzmir quake