On Wednesday, two dozen construction workers who took part in protests against the conditions they endured on the job site of the new Istanbul airport were detained and remanded pending trial. Over a dozen others who were arrested during the protests were released but subject to judicial control pending indictment.
Over 500 protesting workers were detained after protests triggered by a shuttle bus crash that injured 17 on September 14. This crash was just the latest incident involving injury or death of workers at the site of Istanbul’s new airport, which is set to open October 29. According to the Transportation Ministry, 27 workers have been killed on the job at the airport construction site. However, workers claim that the number of lives lost is in fact closer to 400.
More than thirty were also detained at solidarity protests in Ankara and the Kadikoy neighborhood of Istanbul on September 15.
Andrew Gardner of Amnesty International spoke out against the detentions
Rather than stifle legitimate peaceful protest with water cannons, tear gas and detentions, the Turkish authorities must listen to the complaints of the workers and ensure they have a safe and dignified place of work.
The mass arrests were also condemned by the International Trade Union Confederation.
@Ituc The ITUC condemns the mass arrest of workers who went on strike to protest against the unsafe and inhumane working conditions on the construction site of the third Istanbul airport – record of deaths and injuries cant be tolerated. https://t.co/ImM5G9jiW9
— Sharan Burrow (@SharanBurrow) September 15, 2018
Follow Amnesty’s Turkey country page to keep up to date on the latest news and actions.