Thu 01 Oct 2020

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Local council of Jarabulus requires issuance of licenses for three sectors 

A street in the city of Jarabulus - 2020 ( The Jarabulus Local Council)

A street in the city of Jarabulus - 2020 ( The Jarabulus Local Council)

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Enab Baladi – Aleppo countryside

Amidst demands to limit the priority of its work to the provisions of electricity, water, and security, the local council in the city of Jarabulus, northeast of Aleppo, called on 5 August, citizens, shops owners, business owners ( people of crafts and trades) in the city, to obtain licenses for their shop and for practicing their profession. Besides, the council also asked the vehicle drivers to issue driving licenses or renew the old ones.

licensing fees for “practicing a profession” range between 100 to 400 Turkish Liras (1 Turkish lira (TL) =315 Syrian Pounds=0.14 USD). The fees are paid once, and the average license fee is 100 Turkish liras, the head of the Jarabulus Local Council, Abd Khalil said.

The documents required to obtain the license are a lease contract with the shop owner, an official document such as personal identity (ID card) or its equivalent, and a disclosure form for the shop to be licensed. 

Syndicate of Craftsmen

Khalil, the head of the local council, told Enab Baladi that the purpose of the licensing is to control security in the first place,  know the number of workers in the shops and markets and organize their work, especially after the establishment of a “Syndicate of Craftsmen” in the city.

The Syndicate includes 12 offices ( such as the bakery office, the goldsmith office, the trade, and blacksmith office) and aims to organize the work of artisans, industrialists and shop owners in the region and achieve their interests, especially after the decline in the value of the Syrian pound against foreign currencies, and talk about the circulation of other currencies in the city, according to Khalil. 

Khalil pointed out that licensing fees will be reduced by 80 percent for one month, from 6 August to 6 September for citizens obtaining a license during that period. He indicated that after the deadline expires, fees will be fully charged with no reduction in addition to the imposition of a monetary fine—which has not been determined yet—and legal and penal accountability. 

Driving License

The local council called on owners of vehicles and machinery, including motorcycles, touring cars, small or large trucks, and agricultural machinery, to obtain a driving license before 1 October.

In a circular issued by the local council, the council indicated that people who do not have a driving license could register at the Council’s Education Directorate, attend a training course, then take practical and written driving tests, and obtain the permit after reviewing the Traffic Police Department. On the other hand, holders of old driving licenses can exchange their licenses by revising the section.

Khalil pointed out that the council’s call for citizens to obtain a driver’s license is also a control process because some of the vehicle and machinery drivers in the area “do not hold a driving license and do not know the minimum standards for driving vehicles,” as he put it.

Fees for the vehicle driving course at the driving school of the Education Directorate in the city are divided into three categories: 50 TL for a motorcycle, 100 TL for a touring car, and 150 TL for large vehicles.

Health professional licensing 

In a similar step, the opposition-affiliated health directorate in Jarabulus and its countryside requested, last July, all workers in the medical sector to review the directorate to obtain the necessary licenses to work, so that all sectors, centers, and clinics would be licensed and subject to periodic monitoring, and health work would be organized in the private sector, the director of the health directorate in Jarabulus, Issam Jumaa told Enab Baladi.

The medical sectors required to obtain a license include all private clinics and medical centers, medical organizations operating in Jarabulus and its countryside, dentists’ clinics, and dental prosthesis laboratories.

They also include clinical laboratories, private hospitals, pharmacies, drug and medical supplies warehouses, optical and vision centers, prosthetics centers, in addition to women’s health clinics and midwives, nursing clinics, express-aid systems, and physical therapy centers.

How do citizens view licensing decisions?

The reaction of people from the city of Jarabulus to the licensing decisions issued by the local council was mixed. Some people objected to the decisions, considering the payment of license fees is not possible at this time due to the deteriorating economic conditions faced by the Syrian people. They called on the council to provide services, chiefly providing electricity to the city.

By contrast,  other people supported the decisions and considered them a “first step for a safe city, governed by law.”

Muhammad al-Shami, a resident of the city, supported the recent decisions issued by the council. However, he sees “the local council’s severe failure” to provide services, as al-Shami told Enab Baladi.

Al-Shami added that he believes that the decisions issued by the council are “entirely correct” because licensing professions is a common matter around the world. If the professions are to be licensed, especially medical ones, this keeps citizens safe.

Regarding driving licenses, al-Shami believes, from his personal experience in driving vehicles, that a large number of drivers do not have experience in driving. 

He also highlighted that children drive cars “recklessly” on the city’s streets, and the standard in the city for driving a vehicle is to have only its price, which threatens the lives of many civilians in the area.

On the other hand, Abdul-Jabbar Assaf, a resident from the city of Jarabulus, told Enab Baladi that the council must ensure electricity access in the city first, instead of giving importance to permits to practice professions, complaining that the Turkish electricity has been cut off from the city for more than a month. No alternative has been provided yet in several neighborhoods of the city.

For his part, the head of the council, Abd Khalil, commented on the objections, saying that the purpose of the licenses is to regulate matters and enhance overall security control in the region, due to the presence of what he described as “large sleeper cells affiliated with the so-called Islamic State, the Syrian Democratic Forces and hostile parties.” Therefore, things must be controlled, and people working in the stores of the city must be recognized and known. 

As for electricity, the electricity project is currently underway in the city, and water is available, and the roads are “in good condition,” as he put it, and work on services is taking place in parallel in all sectors.

 

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