ISIG: At least 1,932 workers killed in their workplace in 2023

Since the AKP came to power in 2002, at least a total of at least 32,478 workers have lost their lives in work-related incidents.

The Health and Safety Labor Watch (ISIG) released its annual report on occupational homicides. The report said that at least 1,932 workers were killed on the job in 2023, averaging some 5 workers per day. 

ISIG said that 115 were killed in January, 261 in February, 130 in March, 123 in April, 147 in May, 160 in June, 184 in July, 206 in August, 154 in September, 151 in October, 145 in November, and 156 in December. 

Among the workers killed, 147 were women and 1,785 were men. Worringly, the report said that 22 of the dead were children aged 14 or below, while 32 were kids in the 15-17 age group. Age-related information for 163 workers was not obtained. 

In addition, the reports confirmed that 106 of the workers killed in 2023 were refugees or migrant workers, arriving from countries such as Syria, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Iraq, Iran, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Egypt, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, the Philippines, Japan, Colombia, Moldova, Nigeria, Romania, Russia, Sudan, and Tajikistan. 

Only 54 of the workers who lost their lives (2.79%) were unionized, while a staggering 1,878 (97.21%) had no union affiliation. 

Highest number of death in construction, agriculture, transport

The highest number of fatalities occurred in the construction and road sectors, claiming 389 lives. Following closely were agriculture and forestry with 371 fatalities (194 workers and 177 farmers). The transport sector saw 221 deaths, accommodation and entertainment recorded 157, trade, office, education, and cinema sectors reported 116, and municipal and general services resulted in 100 fatalities. 

The causes of death varied: 444 due to traffic and service accidents, 291 due to crushing and collapsing, 259 from falling from heights, 218 due to heart attacks or strokes, 158 due to earthquakes, 105 from electric shocks, 85 due to violence, 80 from explosions and burns, 64 from poisoning and drowning, 64 from suicide, 35 from object impact and falls, 17 from cutting and severing, and 112 from other reasons. 

ISIG underlined that there are three sectors with concentrated workplace fatalities (981 deaths): construction, agriculture, and transport. These sectors, characterized by precarious work conditions and a lack of union organization, continue to see significant challenges and risks for workers. 

32,478 workers killed since the AKP came to power

Since the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power on November 3, 2002, a total of at least 32,478 workers have lost their lives in workplace accidents. ISIG said: "Whether the government enacts Law No. 6331 on Occupational Health and Safety or gives speeches about 'reduced worker deaths proportionally,' the reality remains unchanged. The AKP has turned job insecurity into today's proletarian work and life discipline." 

ISIG added that nothing has changed for the workers and the people of Turkey "despite the rhetoric of 'economic development,' 'growth,' 'Advanced Turkey,' 'New Turkey,' 'indigenous-national,' and 'Turkey Century' used by AKP officials over the past 22 years." On the contrary, ISIG said, "each passing year witnesses laws that disadvantage workers, increasing inflation, declining purchasing power, and ongoing repression against struggles for rights and freedoms, shaping a 'Workplace Homicide Regime.'"