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401 workers detained at new Istanbul airport protests

Staff Writer |
Most workers detained on Sept. 14 have been released after protests over labor conditions at the construction of Istanbul’s new airport, Istanbul Governor Vasip sahin said on Sept. 16.

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Some 275 of the 401 workers were released, he said, while claiming those detained included “outsiders, who are not workers, and arrived at the scene for ‘provocative actions.’”

The governor said the detainees who did not commit any offense will be released after prosecutors finalize the necessary processes.

Last week, hundreds of workers walked off their jobs to protest what they called “awful” labor conditions. Security forces intervened, firing tear gas to disperse the protesting workers.

“Workers put forward some demands following the problems related to delayed shuttle bus services. Upon the disturbance, officials including the gendarmerie commander of the province arrived at the scene to coordinate the efforts. They spoke both with the workers and the company officials,” sahin said.

According to the governor, workers returned to work on Sept. 15.

“The employee has already started to take action to resolve the problems that the workers raised. The company is also working to meet the workers’ demands,” sahin also said.

sahin claimed there were no disputes at the construction site anymore.

The labor union Dev Yapi-Is had initially claimed that around 500 workers were detained but 167 of them were later released.

The striking workers issued a list of basic demands, including improved safety measures, more shuttle buses and better living conditions.

They also demanded the striking workers not to be dismissed from their jobs and delayed wages be paid.

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