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31,131 workers have died in occupational accidents during AKP rule: İSİG

An employee looks over towards the control tower of the Istanbul New Airport under construction on April 13, 2018, during press tour in northern Istanbul. - The inauguration of the airport, a Grimshaw design in collaboration with an international architectural team, is planned to to take place in October 2018. (Photo by OZAN KOSE / AFP)

Turkey has recorded 31,131 deaths in work-related accidents since the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in November 2002, the Stockholm Center for Freedom reported, citing the Health and Safety Labor Watch (İSİG).

At least 585 people died in workplace accidents in Turkey in 2023. There were 122 workplace deaths in Turkey in April, 130 in March, 213 in February and 120 in January, the report said.

The report stated that the most common causes of work-related deaths in the first four months of the year were traffic accidents, falling from heights, injuries sustained from heavy equipment and earthquakes that struck Turkey in February.

People have been suffering from lax work safety standards for decades in Turkey, where workplace accidents are nearly a daily occurrence.

In the worst work-related accident in the country’s history, 301 miners died in an explosion in a mine in Manisa’s Soma district in western Turkey in May 2014.

İSİG General Coordinator Murat Çakır earlier said the reason for the record number of fatalities in work-related accidents has to do with the policies of the AKP, which he said aim to turn Turkey into a source of cheap labor for Europe.

According to Çakır, workers feel obliged to work under unsafe conditions fearing that they will become jobless and be unable to support their families.

İSİG began to record occupational fatalities in 2011. The platform also records the number of workers who died due to the lack of work safety in past years in addition to campaigning for stricter measures to maintain safety in workplaces.

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