Upon seeing the photo of tour guides wearing aprons written “Unlicensed guiding is illegal”, my anarchist side rose up again.
So what?... Basing arguments on “illegality” is stupid!
I would like to remind all such people that definition of "illegal" changes over time. Man-made laws are not like laws of nature. They're not written in stone or by a higher authority above mankind. There were many things that were legal once upon a time, which we cannot think of accepting today. (Like slavery, like women not having the vote...) And you can be sure there will be many illegal things today that the future generations will look upon horrified.
When you base your arguments on “Ah, that's illegal” you are resorting to authority. You are using mob power. Whereas interactions between people should be voluntary.
Governments get the monopoly of violence on the grounds of the law behind them. But there has to be a justified ground for laws too. And I don't believe there is a justification for a law to state who can work as a guide and who cannot. That's getting way too much into human affairs. Governments don't need to regulate everything, make decisions and choices for every little detail of our lives.
I believe you are trying to say that it is a matter of quality. That licensed guides are certified, therefore better. Okay. Let people know this, let people be aware that there are licensed guides who have passed through some tests and there are unlicensed ones who work independently; but let people be able to choose which they prefer. Give people the freedom to make their own decisions.: Instead of dictating and using “power”. People hiring guides are adults. They can live with the consequences of their actions. (It's not as if an unlicensed guide is going to kill them! I mean s/he can of course but then a licensed guide can too as that would be an extreme case of delirium. And people with bad intentions trick, rob and kill others no matter what; they don't need to pretend to be guides. Albeit, the reason you go out on the Sultanahmet Square is not your fear of the tourist's life, your concern is that somebody else gets your job, gets your bread. That is very understandable too but the solution is not you blocking the subsistence of another by legislation power. That's not nice at all.)
People hiring guides are adults. They can make their own decisions. If they are not happy with the services of an unlicensed guide, they hire a licensed one next time. Does the government have to determine and dictate who can work as a guide and who cannot? Really? Why don't they also dictate who can talk to a foreigner? While they are at it, why don't they dictate what the licensed tour guides can say, what they can talk about and what not? Seriously... Come to your senses.
I'm sorry, licenses are a way to extort money.: To provide for the associations/institutions organizing certain groups. If you want to belong to an instituion, if you believe they are doing a good job and you want to be a part of it, that's fine. But if people do not want to be institutionalized, don't force them to do that just to exercise some profession. Seriously... It's wrong. If you ask me, it's wrong even for professions like medicine, architecture, engineering where human life is directly involved. If someone has proved herself/himself in an area and can stand on one's own feet, they should not be obliged to register to a chamber or association or institution. List the names of famous architects, Frank Lloyd Wright, Frank Gehry, Antoni Gaudi come to my mind. Would these people lag behind the day, do you think they'd not update themselves if not forced by an outside force? Do you think they'd not be able to get jobs if they did not register to a chamber? Were there chambers in Michaelangelo's in Mimar Sinan's times? Maybe there were, I don't know. I know that I don't see such things as necessary. List the worldly renowned doctors. I'm sorry I cannot come up with any name as I have not had any involvement in the field but I recently came across a Turkish heart surgeon Haldun Karagöz, because he has sailed around the world, I can say that I'd go to him without a second thought for myself or any of my beloveds if necessary. He doesn't need to still belong to a doctor's association. Same goes for my gynecologist Ramazan Mercan. I would avoid the many others who are just as well trained and certified. These things are a matter of trust. Establishing trust. If a person well-known in his field does not update himself, he'd lose his reputation anyway. AND, I'm not saying nobody should register to a chamber at all, -even the well-knowns are welcome to do as they wish, they may register out of a sense of belonging, out of loyalty etc.- I'm just saying they SHOULD NOT be FORCED to, SHOULD NOT be OBLIGED to.
If there are fakes, if people pretend they are licensed while in fact they are not, by all means, fight them, fine them, punish them, put them behind bars or whatever. I support you till the end. Just don't ask me to approve of initiating force by obliging everybody who wants to do the guide get a license.
What are licenses for?
I first started questioning licenses after the never-ending hoops “authorities” put in front of me transcribing my Turkish driver's license into Italian. ( http://voluntaryist.com/wp/index.php/2015/11/04/zeynep-gulin-de-vincentiis/ )
Can anyone tell me what are licenses for in the first place? “They provide our safety,” you say? I'd say “Think again before you do.”
When I got my license, did I go right out into the traffic? No. Because I couldn’t really drive, didn’t have the experience or the confidence. I always had somebody with me for a while. Then, when I felt like I could drive I started going out on my own. Are there people without licenses driving on the roads? Yes, there are. Are there people with licenses, getting drunk and killing people? Yes, there are. There are even people with licenses, not drunk, but in a hurry, or upset, or just fine but in a moment of inattention, get into accidents, cause damage, and kill people. We may even find ourselves in such a position one day.
I have a sailing license. Can I sail a boat? No. My husband doesn't have a license. Can he sail? Yes. At the time I was getting my license, the test was 20 multiple choice question. Not that it would make any difference if it were 50 anyway. They were so simple and basic. As if that wasn't enough, the inspectors who were supposed to make sure you didn't cheat had a look at your answers and corrected you if you had made mistakes. I heard a rumor that in order for Turkey to get into the EU there was a criteria that a certain amount of people possess sailing licenses. Now, I don't want to assert this is true, but we all know that these kinds of things are pretty common and “normal” when it comes to things that have to do with government regulations.
Similarly... Are there licensed guides that are bad and cheats? I'm sure there are. Are there unlicensed guides that are good and provide everything a tourist needs? I'm sure there are. Besides, people are obliged to renew their licenses every year. They were fine one year and would not be fine the next if they do not pay their chambers their due? So please... Please take the dirty hands of the government off of all unnecessary human affairs and interactions. Treat people as adults and responsible beings; refrain from turning a society into a community of idiots who need a government to blame for all their problems or solve all their problems.
You may say "We don't like being blamed for everything either but we have to treat people as idiots who need a government to solve all their problems, because they are so! Majority of the people are idiots."
Still... Refrain from it my dears, refrain from treating people as complete idiots; give them some responsibility so that they have room and opportunity for growth!
Note: You may read the second part of this article here.