Worker for gov’t housing agency claims construction site authorities beat him for refusing to put in more overtime

A construction worker, who worked for Turkey’s Housing Development Administration (TOKI), claimed he had been beaten by worksite authorities after refusing to work overtime, Duvar news website reported.

Ersin Dinç, 23, said he had been working overtime for weeks on the construction and authorities told him on the evening of April 25 to for him to come and work more that evening. They could not get a hold of other workers and he would be the only one in the construction.

Dinç told the authorities it was against  Laborer Health and Occupational Safety Assembly (ISIG) rules for a worker to be alone in a worksite.

“They were trying to finish the construction before a visit from the Ministers of Interior and Environment, Urbanization and Climate,” said Dinç. “The visit was scheduled for April 26, and I told them even if I did come for work there was no way it would be completed before that day.”

Dinç explained he was told he’d be fired if he did not come for work that evening and they refused to pay his daily wages. When he told the authorities he would take this issue to the union, they started beating him. “The accountant and some other men in charge held me down to the floor and started kicking me,” he said.

Dinç obtained a hospital report documenting his injuries and said he would file a complaint against the perpetrators.

Turkey was named one of the world’s 10 worst countries among 149 in total for labor rights, in a report published in July 2021 by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).

Turkey was categorized as a country where there was “no guarantee of labor rights,” meaning that while a country’s legislation may spell out certain rights, workers effectively have no access to these rights and are therefore exposed to autocratic regimes and unfair labor practices.


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