Turkey jails 24 Istanbul airport workers pending trial after protests

Turkish police have detained hundreds of workers protesting over labor conditions at Istanbul’s new airport, a giant project championed by President Tayyip Erdogan and due to open next month. (File/AFP)
Updated 20 September 2018
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Turkey jails 24 Istanbul airport workers pending trial after protests

  • Istanbul’s governor said on Sunday more than 400 people were initially detained for taking part in the protests
  • A total of 43 people among those detained were sent to an Istanbul court to rule on what action would be taken and it released 19 of them subject to judicial monitoring

ISTANBUL: A Turkish court has jailed pending trial 24 people involved in protests over work conditions at Istanbul’s new airport last week, broadcaster CNN Turk said on Wednesday.
The airport is a centerpiece of a 15-year construction boom under President Tayyip Erdogan. It has an initial planned capacity of 90 million passengers a year, making it one of the world’s biggest airports.
Istanbul’s governor said on Sunday more than 400 people were initially detained for taking part in the protests. Work resumed at the airport on Monday with a heavy police and gendarmerie presence, according to labor unions.
A total of 43 people among those detained were sent to an Istanbul court to rule on what action would be taken and it released 19 of them subject to judicial monitoring, CNN Turk said.
The 24 formally arrested and remanded in custody faced provisional charges such resisting police, damaging public property and contravening the law governing protests, it said.
Workers have long complained about food, housing and work safety conditions at the construction site, which unions have likened to a concentration camp.
In February, Turkey’s labor ministry said 27 workers had died at the airport since the start of work in 2015, mainly from accidents or health problems. Protests started on Friday after a shuttle bus accident injured 17 workers.
Airport operator IGA said on Sunday work at the airport was on schedule and the planned Oct. 29 opening would not be delayed. Steps had been taken to improve working conditions and living quarters, which workers say were infested with bedbugs, it said.


Brother of 2017 Ariana Grande concert bomber extradited from Libya to Britain

Updated 7 min 43 sec ago
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Brother of 2017 Ariana Grande concert bomber extradited from Libya to Britain

  • Salman Abedi blew himself up at the end of a show by US singer Ariana Grande in 2017, killing 22 people
  • London requested the extradition of his brother Hashem after police issued an arrest warrant against him

TRIPOLI: The brother of a suicide bomber suspected of helping plan a 2017 attack on a concert in the British city of Manchester is being extradited from Libya, according to the force that was holding him in the Libyan capital Tripoli.
Salman Abedi, a 22-year-old Briton born to Libyan parents, blew himself up at the end of a show by US singer Ariana Grande in the deadliest militant attack in Britain for 12 years.
The blast killed 22 people and injured more than 500.
London requested the extradition of his brother Hashem after police issued an arrest warrant against him for murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to cause an explosion.
But Tripoli had long stalled on the request.
“I confirm to you that Hashem is now in the air on his way to the UK ... he is extradited in accordance with a court verdict,” said a spokesman for the Tripoli-based Special Deterrence Force (Rada), who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the case.
“We received an official letter from the head of the attorney general’s investigations department, telling us to extradite Hashem Abedi to UK authorities based on a verdict by Tripoli’s court of appeals.”
Rada, a counter-terrorism and anti-crime group aligned with the government in Tripoli, arrested Hashem shortly after the bombing on suspicion he had helped plan the attack.
Rada said at the time that Salman and Hashem flew together to Libya in April 2017, before Salman returned to Britain to carry out the attack at the Manchester Arena in May.