24 İstanbul airport workers arrested for protesting unsafe labor conditions

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Security members and gendarmes are seen at the entrance of Istanbul new airport building site on September 15, 2018, in Istanbul. Turkish police have detained hundreds of workers protesting over labour conditions at Istanbul's new airport, a giant project championed by President Tayyip Erdogan and due to open next month. / AFP PHOTO / BULENT KILIC

Twenty-four workers who were detained along with hundreds of others on Saturday for protesting labor conditions at İstanbul’s new airport were put in pre-trial detention by a court on Wednesday, the t24 news website reported.

According to the report, 19 other workers were released on judicial probation by the Istanbul court.

Workers were accused by the prosecutor of violating the law on meetings and demonstrations, violating the freedom to work, damaging public property and inciting hatred and hostility among the people.

According to union representatives, the protest broke out after a shuttle bus accident on Sept. 14 in which 17 workers were injured at İstanbul’s new airport, a giant project championed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and due to open next month.

Thousands of workers joined the demonstration, which was broken up by police and gendarmes deploying in riot control vehicles and firing tear gas.

Turkish police detained 550 workers on Saturday.

The new airport, which Turkey says will become the biggest in the world, is one of the showcase projects of a 15-year construction boom under Erdoğan, who has overseen building of bridges, ports and railways that have transformed the country.

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