Lack of inspection behind Turkey's work-related murderous projects

An expert tells soL that the lack of inspection and the escalating number of subcontracting are primary factors behind Turkey's work-related disasters and deaths in recent years
Saturday, 01 December 2018 04:57

The Chamber of Civil Engineers in İstanbul has indicated to the lack of inspection, the growth in subcontracting and the imposition to rush the project works as the real reason of work-related accidents and deaths in the wake of the concrete block collapse that killed three workers in northwest Turkey.

Three workers died while five were trapped after a concrete block collapsed on November 28 during the construction of a viaduct bridge around a highway in the northwestern province of Kocaeli. The workers were victimized for the North Marmara Highway, which is being constructed by Limak-Cengiz and Kolin-Kalyon Joint Venture Groups that have strong ties with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his AKP government.

Talking to soL News, Nusret Tuna, İstanbul Branch Chairperson of the Chamber of Civil Engineers, has said that he would like to make an assessment regarding the similar murders of workers in recent years because the AKP government imposed a broadcast ban on the news about the most recent murderous accident.


“The works are being contracted. These works are carried out in a certain schedule and order. There are flowcharts for each project. But unfortunately, later, they rush the works to be completed immediately,” Tuna told soL, adding that workers were often forced to work up to three shifts in a day without offs and resting. He has said that such impositions lead to the lack of motivation among workers, which ignore the principles of work safety.

Saying that the employers in Turkey often regard work safety rules as something that escalates the costs, he has also indicated to the growth in subcontracting. “Big investments such as roads, bridges, highways are tendered for the contract. Competent firms are called for tenders. However, the works have not been carried out by the tenders in recent decades,” he has said, adding that giant corporations or consortiums are subcontracting the works.

Tuna has pointed out to the lack of inspection amid such complicated processes in which dozens of separate subcontracting firms are employed for big projects. He has noted that the lack of inspection has largely increased in recent years, adding “We are face to face the lack of inspection in controls following every work-related disasters. Tendering institutions should have inspection teams. The ministries had inspection teams in the past. These works are given to private consulting firms today. There is no inspection,” he has told soL, underlining that Turkey is the first rank in Europe and the third around the globe regarding work-related accidents.  


Following the murderous construction disaster, the relatives of a killed worker have said that nobody informed them although 30 hours passed after the disaster. “That’s inhumane. At least, one should have come here or telephoned for condolence,” the trapped worker’s father-in-law. As the forensic medicine institute delivered the bodies of three workers to their families, two of the trapped workers were brothers, while one of them died and the other survived.

The big pro-government companies that are responsible for the recent work-related disaster in Turkey’s northwestern province of Kocaeli have role in the country’s many other huge projects such as İstanbul’s new mega airport where workers have died or forced to work under inhumane conditions to finish the project in favour of President Erdoğan’s and his government’s show-off.