The most recent “Workplace Homicides” report by the Health and Safety Labour Watch of Turkey (İSİG) published on Jan. 4 found that 1929 workers died in work-related accidents in 2023 and at least 154 workers died in December.
The report noted the continuous increase in the number of deaths in the construction sector over the last four months. In December, 44 workers died while working for the state-run Turkish Housing Authority (TOKİ) and mega-projects of private companies such as Europe Residences in Istanbul.
Over half of the deaths in the construction sector occurred as workers fell from heights, signifying the lack of protection measures by employers.
In December, 13 motor couriers died from traffic accidents on duty. The report noted that motor couriers constituted a young worker base and precarious work circumstances with the pressure of meeting deadlines caused deaths.
The report recounted the death of 39-year-old motor courier Yunus Emre Göçer, whose killer Mohammed Hassan was allowed to leave Turkey without sentencing. Hassan was later revealed to be the son of Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
Five of the workers who died in December were considered young/child workers, between the ages of 15 and 17. Six were immigrant workers. The report recounted 16-year-old Syrian worker Abdullah El Hamuud, who died as his boss stabbed him 11 times after an argument.