Prisoners made to work under slavery conditions in Van

AKP’s Tusba Municipality in Van is turning a profit through the production of bread using forced labor by prisoners for very low wages. Bakers in the city are angry at the municipality.

AKP’s Tusba Municipality hasn’t been able to sustain a Public Bread Bakery, the state-run lowcost bakeries, but has now found a new method. The municipality has made a deal with the prison administration and started to put arrestees and convicts to work for 10 Liras ($1.60) a day.

The prison bakery produces 7 to 8 thousand loaves of bread every day. The municipality and the prison administration are turning a huge profit from the bakery as the arrestees and convicts work like slaves.

AKP’s Tusba Mayor Fevzi Ozgokce has set up 8 kiosks throughout the district abusing the labor of arrestees and convicts.

The slavery conditions prisoner are forced to work under and profiteering off of their labor have caused protests.


Shopkeepers in the Chamber of Bakers say they can’t even break even with the cost of bread they produce: “Fuel prices have gone through the roof. The Tusba Municipality is producing unhealthy bread in prisons with prisoners’ labor for 10 Liras a day, without any extra costs of rent, power, or social security.”


Van Chamber of Bakers administrators said: “There is legislation on the working conditions of prisoners. There can be not-for-profit works in accordance with the registration. If the Tusba Municipality is turning a profit, exploitation of labor comes into play. They are taking advantage of the prisoners. If the Tusba Municipality wants to produce cheap and high quality bread, why wouldn’t they open a public bakery? This is an effort to create cheap labor and turn a profit. We bakers employ hundreds of people, all registered and with social security. Tusba Mayor Fevzi Ozgokce is making the shopkeepers pay for his failure.”