Turkey’s healthcare workers protest unfair conditions amid COVID-19

Turkey’s healthcare workers protested the government and announced their demands for fair wages and secure working conditions amidst the pandemic.
Thursday, 21 May 2020 18:21

Around 10 thousands of healthcare workers are infected with COVID-19 in Turkey. As they have been struggling against the novel coronavirus, 36 of them lost their lives. 

The inadequate number of healthcare personnel has led to a workload in Turkey while most of them have had to work in grave conditions without protective equipment since the beginning of the outbreak, officially since March 10. 

Turkey’s healthcare workers have been forced to work amidst unjust payment of wages and insecure working conditions during the coronavirus pandemic although they have dedicated themselves to the struggle against the outbreak. 


Healthcare workers protested such unfair working conditions on May 21 around Turkey following the call of the Health and Social Service Workers Union (SES). Talking to soL news, Gönül Erden, the head of SES, announced the problems and demands of the healthcare workers. 

Indicating to ten thousands of healthcare workers who got infected with COVID-19 and 36 who lost their lives, Erden said that they carried out demonstrations to protest the inadequate measures during the pandemic. 

Erden went on to say that they reject the Health Ministry’s implementation of a performance system for the healthcare workers, adding that this system deteriorates the peaceful environment and the team spirit among the workers. 

“As the healthcare workers, we do not want a performance system but humane basic wages. Our demand is a wage over the poverty line,” she said. 

Noting that thousands of healthcare workers who heartily struggle against the pandemic, Erden said that they demand secure working conditions for the entire health personnel, as well as some other economic gains. 

Following the call of the Health and Social Service Workers Union (SES), hundreds of healthcare workers protested the insecure and unfair working conditions in several cities, including İstanbul, Ankara and İzmir, around Turkey. 

“Health is a team work, don’t separate us, pay what we deserve!” reads a banner of a group of healthcare workers who protested the government in İstanbul, calling for the end of the practice of subcontract mechanism at medical centers.  

The healthcare workers also demanded that COVID-19 must be recognized as a “professional disease” for all the health workers throughout the country.