A Turkish union on Friday called for the release of two dozen workers arrested after they protested poor working conditions while building Istanbul's giant new airport, saying they were being held as hostages.
Hundreds of workers were rounded up in raids earlier this month and, although most were later released, 24 were remanded in custody ahead of trial by an Istanbul court.
The protesters went on strike over labour violations in the construction of the airport, ranging from lax work safety that led to deadly accidents, to irregular shuttle services to and from the site.
"Security does not let anyone in. If... a worker falls and dies, police and security seal of all the area and do not allow anyone to come closer," Nihat Demir, secretary-general of Dev Yapi-Is union, told AFP after a news conference urging their release.
On Thursday, All-Workers Militant Front (PAME) and the Federation of Construction Workers of Greece issued a statement to be in solidarity with Istanbul’s third airport workers resisting against the violence and repression of the Turkish government.
In the statement titled "Ambulances are no longer using the sirens!," Greek workers underlined that "Workers know that the new airport, and the capitalist growth in general, in every country, is built with the sweat and blood of the workers."