Report on Occupational Homicides in Turkey: 25,716 workers lost their lives in 18 years

According to main opposition CHP MP Tanrıkulu’s “Report on Occupational Homicides in Turkey”, which covers the period when the AKP has been in power, 25 thousand 716 workers lost their lives in occupational homicides in 18 years.

Republican People’s Party (CHP) İstanbul MP Sezgin Tanrıkulu has released his report on occupational homicides in Turkey in the last 18 years, when the Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been in power.

Noting that the “omnibus bill” will usurp the workers’ right of severance pay and pension rights, Sezgin Tanrıkulu has said:

“If passed, precarious work will be more common. Workers under the age of 25 and over the age of 50 can be employed with fixed term contracts without conditions up to 2 years. This legislation will make it impossible for the ones aged younger than 25 and work for less than 10 days to benefit from social security rights related to unemployment, disability and old age.”

Tanrıkulu has also referred to the Health and Safety Labor Watch (İSİG Assembly) reports on occupational homicides in Turkey. He has said that from 2002, when the AKP came to power, to 2020, at least 25,716 workers lost their lives “due to preventable causes.”

According to the report, while 146 workers lost their lives in 2002, this number has increased gradually over the years till today. Since March 2020, when the first novel coronavirus (COVID-19) case was officially confirmed in Turkey, 325 workers have died of the virus.

The report of the MP has also referred to the data of the Social Security Institution (SGK), which indicates that while 494 workers caught diseases due to their occupations, this number was 510 in 2015 and 597 in 2016. While 72 workers underwent an outpatient treatment due to “temporary incapacity to work” in 2016, 79 workers were hospitalized.

Tanrıkulu has also mentioned a response given to a question by the Presidential Communication Center (CİMER): “According to the answer given to me by Ankara, İstanbul and Zonguldak Occupational hospitals in 2018, 6,948 workers were treated as inpatients and 589,568 as outpatients in these three hospitals in the first 11 months of 2017.”

Child labor
In his report, CHP MP Tanrkulu has also shared some figures from a study by two NGOs based on the “TurkStat Child Labor Force Survey 2019”. Sezgin Tanrıkulu has briefly stated the following:

“When it is compared with the survey in 2012, it is seen that the number of child workers dropped from 893 thousand to 720 thousand, marking a decrease of 173 thousand people. However, this drop must be carefully evaluated because the Syrians who emigrated from Syria after 2011 have created a vast, but not free labor force pool.

“Employers have replaced local workers with these extremely cheap migrant labor. It is also the case for child workers. It is highly likely that Syrian children are employed under much heavier conditions.”

The MP has also indicated that while the number of child workers working in agricultural sector tends to decrease, there are still children working in industry despite a little decrease while the number of child workers employed in the service sector has been increasing.

“While the service sector employs 45 percent of the working children, this rate hits 51 percent in the 15-17 age group,” the MP has said. (RT/SD) – BIA News Desk