Wife expresses outrage over insensitive tweet from employer after death of husband

The wife of a railway worker who died on Tuesday morning in a work-related accident expressed outrage over what she called an insensitive tweet posted by Turkish State Railways (TCDD).

Rail worker Vedat Güçtekin, 32, died after being hit by a train on the Marmaray line in Istanbul. The accident caused disruptions in train service, and Marmaray TCDD posted a tweet apologizing to its customers for a “technical glitch.” 

Güçtekin’s wife posted an angry tweet in response, saying her husband’s death was not a technical glitch. “Vedat Güçtekin, my husband of eight months! He just turned 32 three days ago. I will make sure those [railway authorities] who were responsible for his death are held to account,” she said. 

The incident occurred in the early morning hours, when TCDD employees were working on the tracks. While two others managed to get out of the way, Güçtekin was hit by an oncoming train. 

According to a report by the Health and Safety Labor Watch (İSİG) Turkey has recorded 31,131 deaths in work-related accidents since the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in November 2002.

At least 585 people have 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.

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.

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