301 people died in workplace accidents in Turkey in first 2 months of year

At least 301 people died in workplace accidents in Turkey in the first two months of 2023, according to a report by the Health and Safety Labor Watch (İSİG).

There were 119 workplace deaths in Turkey in January and 182 in February, the report said.

According to the report, 97 of the deaths in February were people who had been temporarily in a region affected by devastating earthquakes for seminars or work-related projects and people who were in their workplaces when the earthquakes hit.

A 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck near the Turkish city of Gaziantep – home to around 2 million people and on the border with Syria – as people were sleeping on February 6 was followed by dozens of aftershocks, including a 7.5-magnitude temblor that jolted the region in the middle of search and rescue efforts the same day.

The report stated that the most common causes of work-related deaths in the first two months of the year were traffic accidents, falling from heights, earthquakes and injury from heavy equipment. People who died in work-related accidents in January and February included 30 women and 12 refugees, the İSİG report said.

The majority of occupational accidents occur in Turkey’s construction, agriculture, metals, chemicals and transportation sectors, where dangerous working conditions such as long hours, intensive labor, uninsured work and many other irregularities prevail.

A yearly report by İSİG revealed that at least 1,843 workers died in occupational accidents in Turkey in 2022.

According to İSİG, at least 30,546 deaths in work-related accidents have taken place since the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in November 2002.

İSİG General Coordinator Murat Çakır 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.

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

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