Turkey bars firms from laying off workers amid pandemic

Turkish police officers patrol a deserted Istiklal street at Taksim district in Istanbul on April 12,2020 after a curfew was imposed. (AFP)
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Updated 17 April 2020

Turkey bars firms from laying off workers amid pandemic

DUBAI: No Turkish employers are allowed to lay off any worker during the coronavirus pandemic, declared Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk, the country’s labor, social services and family minister.

Likewise, employment contracts cannot be nullified for a three-month period except in unconscionable situations, Selçuk added.

Turkey will also pay 39.24 Turkish liras, or about $5.70, a day for three months to workers who were forced to take unpaid leaves due to the coronavirus outbreak, Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk said in a tweet.

Selçuk added that the ministry will bear expenses for elderly and disabled people at private nursing homes and care centers.

Several new steps to mitigate the pandemic’s impact on economic and social life were approved by the Turkish parliament early on April 16.


‘Provocative’ Erdogan to drill for oil off Libya

Updated 31 May 2020

‘Provocative’ Erdogan to drill for oil off Libya

  • Turkey claims an agreement gives it the right to explore for oil and gas in an exclusive economic zone

JEDDAH: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan plans to create a “fait accompli” over rights to natural resources in the eastern Mediterranean by drilling off the coast of Libya, analysts told Arab News on Saturday.

Ankara’s announcement that it intends to activate last year’s maritime borders agreement with the Libyan government in Tripoli has brought simmering tensions to the boil.   

Turkey claims the agreement gives it the right to explore for oil and gas in an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) between its southern coast and Libya’s northeastern coast. However, Greece, Cyprus and the EU say the deal is illegal. Turkey may also face EU sanctions over drilling in Cypriot territorial waters.

Ankara has not said exactly where it will drill, but experts told Arab News they expect exploration activities to begin off Tripoli in the short term, and then near to the coastal city of Sirte.

“From a tactical point of view, Turkey may test the scenario of a crisis with Athens where escalation takes place and then, in the context of de-escalation, the two countries would have to discuss and negotiate their positions,” said Zenonas Tziarras, a researcher at PRIO Cyprus Centre.

Mona Sukkarieh, a political risk consultant and co-founder of Middle East Strategic Perspectives, said: “If we take Turkish operations off the Cypriot coast as an indicator, operations off the Libyan coast might start off on the less provocative part of the spectrum and grow bolder with time toward the more provocative part of the spectrum.

“The objective is to demonstrate a resolute determination in order to extract concessions or, at the very least, to impose itself as a player to reckon with.”