Seasonal workers killed in traffic accident in southeastern Turkey’s Urfa province 

Three seasonal workers died and 17 others were injured in a traffic accident on Sunday morning in southeastern Urfa province, once again raising concerns over occupational safety, Turkish media reported. 

A van carrying the seasonal workers crashed into a wall, killing three female laborers. 

Unfortunately, traffic accidents are the number one cause of worker deaths in Turkey. According to Health and Safety Labor Watch (İSİG) numbers, 201 workers died in August alone, 52 of whom were killed in traffic accidents. 

Traffic accidents account for 26 percent of all occupational accidents according to İSİG. 

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 lost their lives in an explosion in Manisa’s Soma district in May 2014.

According to İSİG, at least 31,276  work-related accidents have taken place since the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in November 2002.

İSİG General Coordinator Murat Çakır had 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 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.

A yearly report by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) on labor rights reveals that Turkey is one of the 10 worst countries in the world for working people. According to the Brussels-based ITUC, workers’ freedoms and rights continued to be relentlessly denied with police crackdowns on protests in Turkey in 2022. 

Take a second to support Stockholm Center for Freedom on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!