28,380 workers have died in occupational accidents since ruling AKP came to power in 2002

A total of 28,380 people have died in workplace accidents in Turkey since the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in 2002, according to a report released by the Occupational Health and Safety Assembly (İSİG).

Turkey recorded at least 1,847 deaths in work-related accidents in the first 10 months of this year, İSİG said.

The report revealed that 2,427 people died in workplace accidents last year. The number of occupational fatalities rose considerably in comparison to 2019, when 1,736 deaths were recorded.

Turkey has been suffering from low work safety standards for decades, and work-related fatalities have increased in recent years.

The country ranked first in Europe in the number of fatal workplace accidents in 2018, with 1,541 work-related deaths, according to the European Statistical Office (Eurostat) and Turkey’s Social Security Institution (SGK) data.

According to the SGK, 430,985 workplace accidents took place and at least four Turkish workers lost their lives every day in 2018.

There were 3,332 fatal accidents at work in the EU’s 27 member states in 2018, with one-fifth of those accidents occurring in the construction sector, the Eurostat data revealed.

In the worst work-related accident in the country’s history, 301 miners lost their lives in an explosion in Manisa’s Soma district in May 2014.

Seasonal farm laborers have increasingly been the victims of fatal work-related accidents in the country. According to Ömer Fethi Gürer, a deputy from the Republican People’s Party (CHP), a large number of farm laborers are injured or killed in traffic accidents while on the way to work. Forty laborers died and at least 108 were injured in traffic accidents in the first half of 2021, Gürer said.

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