A total of 176,662 people have been fired in Turkey in 2020 under the Social Security Institution's (SGK)'s code 29.
This figure corresponds to 14,772 employees on average in a month and 491 employees on average in a day.
The statistics were shared by the SGK in response to a question submitted by the Research Center of the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK-AR) through the Presidential Communications Center (CİMER).
The Turkish government introduced a ban on layoffs last year to limit the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on employment. However, there is an exception to this ban which is the SGK's code 29, which says the employment contract can be terminated on the grounds that the employee “violated the code of ethics and goodwill.”
Layoffs based on this code are quite brutal as the worker is not entitled to severance pay, notice pay or unemployment benefits.
The code has been exploited by many employers who fired workers over their union membership or for demanding more health-related measures in their workplaces in the face of the pandemic.