An occupational murder report prepared by the Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Tekin Bingöl shows that four workers lost their lives every day, while 21.800 workers were killed in occupational murders under the Justice and Development Party (AKP)’s 16-year rule in Turkey since 2002.
After Turkey had witnessed one of the worst occupational mass murders in its history on May 13, 2014 in Turkey’s Soma, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had dared to portray the massacre, which claimed the lives of 301 miners, as ‘‘in the nature of things’’, telling the relatives of dead miners that ‘‘these types of incidents are ordinary things’’. More than 700 miners had been trapped in one of the pits of the Soma mine, which had been a private lignite mine in country’s western province of Manisa. More than 160 other people came out of the mine with injuries while 301 workers were killed brutally.
Erdoğan’s words summarize the Turkish government’s viewpoint on the occupational murders and the murder of 21.800 workers under the AKP rule in 16 years.
FOUR WORKERS ARE BEING KILLED IN OCCUPATIONAL MURDERS EVERY DAY
Stating that ‘‘Approximately 21.208 workers have lost their lives in occupational murders under the AKP’s political power’’, the report points out, ‘‘According to the data from the International Labor Organization (ILO), 1 ‘death from the occupational murder’ takes place in return approximately 6 ‘deaths from work-related disease’. Therefore, the number of people who lost their lives due to occupational disease should be added to this data. Turkey is in the first rank in the occupational murders in Europe, as it is in the third in the world. Almost 4 workers are being killed in occupational murders every day in the country.’’
722 WORKWOMEN AND 319 CHILD WORKERS LOST THEIR LIVES WITHIN LAST FIVE YEARS
According to the report, the death rate of workwomen is increasing each passing day. More than 90% of female workers are forced to work without being a member of a union, while 75% of them are working informally and without social security due to pressures of capitalist employers.
722 workwomen have lost their lives from 2013 to the first 6 months of 2018, the report indicates.
The death rate of child workers is also rapidly increasing in Turkey where child labour has continuously risen. 319 child workers have been killed in occupational murders in Turkey between 2013 and the first 5 months of 2018.
WORKERS’ SUICIDE IS ON THE RISE
Working conditions ─ such as long working hours, heavy and overworking, intensive working environment, intense work pressure, working at temporary jobs, work stress, low wages, working overtime for free and performance system ─ seriously threaten the lives of workers.
At least 15 workers in 2013, 25 workers in 2014, 59 workers in 2015, 90 workers in 2016, and 89 workers in 2017 have lost their lives by suicides in workplaces (even if the acts of suicide were committed outside the workplaces, they were due to work-related reasons).
IN WHICH SECTORS DO THE OCCUPATIONAL MURDERS MOSTLY TAKE PLACE?
One of the industrial sectors that the occupational murders mostly take place is the construction sector in which there is a rapid growth and competition. Another sector that has the highest rate of occupational murder is the agricultural sector. In this sector, seasonal workers are forced to work informally and without any social security in Turkey. And the last one is the mining sector. Inspections, which are very important to prevent occupational ‘‘accidents’’, are not carried out adequately and thus it claims the lives of thousands of workers due to negligences every year.