No union, no investigation, no control: 907 lost their lives in occupational homicides this year in Turkey

by The Region    


The Occupational Health and Safety Council (ISIG) issued a report on occupational murders that occurred in June 2018. According to the Laborers' Health and Occupational Safety (ISIG) Assembly, at least 149 workers lost their lives in June 2018. The number of workers who lost their lives in occupational homicides in the first half of 2018 has become 907.

The report also shows that the majority of the workers killed in occupational murders were non-union.

The report also found that occupational murders in June have claimed the lives of three children in Turkey in this same period. Among the 149 workers who lost their lives in June, nine of them were women and 140 of them were men; six of them were children, two of whom were under the age of 14.

6 refugee/migrant workers died

* Six refugee/migrant workers lost their lives in June 2018. Two of the deceased workers were from Syria, two of them from Georgia, one from Uzbekistan and one from Azerbaijan.

* The highest number of occupational homicides took place in agriculture, construction, transportation, trade, municipality, metal and energy sectors.

* The most frequent cause of death was car/service vehicle accidents, falling from a higher place and being crushed/being trapped in the wreckage. There was also an increase in the number of occupational homicides due to heart attack, cerebral haemorrhage and violence.

In the eye of the law, every death that occurs in the workplace is within the scope of ‘occupational homicides’ regardless of the cause. Yet, deaths based on overworking have not been adequately investigated in Turkey.

In this respect, the report prepared by ISIG indicates that at least 48 workers in 2013, at least 121 workers in 2014, at least 155 workers in 2015, at least 217 workers in 2016, and at least 183 workers in 2017 died from heart attacks or cerebral haemorrhages. It is not known whether all these deaths are due to overworking.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) continuously attacks the rights of the working people. The weekly working hour in Turkey is on average over 50 hours, and workers are not allowed to use their right to paid leave. These attacks of the Turkish government are now increasing due to newly introduced neoliberal policies such as rental labour, private employment offices and an amendment in the law on labour courts.

The Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) announced last week that 2,006 workers lost their lives in occupational murders in 2017 in Turkey.