Erdoğan to land at İstanbul's new airport for electoral show amid worker deaths

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is planning to land at İstanbul's third airport as part of an electoral propaganda show while dozens of workers have been killed at the construction site due to poor conditions
Thursday, 31 May 2018 20:58

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will land at İstanbul’s new airport on June 22, just two days before the presidential and parliamentary elections. The airport construction site has become a grave for many workers who lost their lives in occupational murders.

As the new airport’s official inauguration ceremony is scheduled to be held on October 29, 2018, Erdoğan promotes the airport project as a political success of his ruling AKP party, using the project as an electoral propaganda feature although 27 workers have been killed at the construction site since 2015 according to the Social Security Institution data.

Turkish local reports argue that ninety percent of the airport construction has been completed while a landing field is ready for flights and another field is to be completed very soon as calibration tests are still continuing at İstanbul’s third airport.

The project has been accelerated so that Erdoğan will be the first ever person who will land at the new airport as part of an electoral show-off considering that Erdoğan is nominated as the presidential candidate of the alliance of AKP party and the fascist Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).


Yunus Özgür, a secretary from the Construction Workers’ Union (İnşaat-İş), previously said that at least three or four workers lost their lives every week as a result of occupational murders at the construction site. “Workers’ deaths are already concealed under normal conditions. It is too difficult to access to certain information at such an enclosed area as the new airport,” Özgür said.

As some sources argue that around 400 workers have been killed at the site since the beginning of the massive airport project, the parliamentary opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Vice-Chair Veli Ağbaba had submitted a parliamentary question regarding the allegations on the murder of 400 workers earlier in February 2018.   

However, the AKP government said 27 workers had died since the construction began in May 2015, denying reports that about 400 workers had perished and that most incidents had been covered up through compensations to the families of the dead.

Around 30 thousand construction workers are forced to work long hours under poor conditions to complete the huge airport project. More than 1,500 workers had blocked the roads to protest bad working conditions at the airport construction site in February.

As the current number of murdered workers is not certain yet, the construction workers are forced to work nonstop and live in dirty, overcrowded and infested camp rooms so as to finish the project in accordance to the instructions of the AKP government as President Erdoğan is planning to stage an electoral show at the airport.