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

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.


Two killed, 35 wounded in Baghdad protests: Police, medics

Updated 36 min 49 sec ago

Two killed, 35 wounded in Baghdad protests: Police, medics

  • One protester died immediately after a tear gas canister hit his head and another died in hospital from wounds from a stun bomb fired by security forces
  • More than 300 people have been killed since Oct. 1, as security forces have fired tear gas canisters and rubber bullets at crowds of protesters
BAGHDAD: Security forces killed two protesters and wounded 35 others in Baghdad on Thursday, police and medical sources said, as thousands of Iraqis continued a wave of anti-government protests.

One protester died immediately after a tear gas canister hit his head and another died in hospital from wounds from a stun bomb fired by security forces, police and hospital sources said.

More than 300 people have been killed since Oct. 1, as security forces have fired tear gas canisters and rubber bullets at crowds of protesters.