Ahmet Murat Aytaç writes: The recent inhumane attack against migrant workers that took place in the Mazıdağı district of Sakarya should be analyzed within the framework of economic oppression. No matter what triggered the assaults, the general tendency in Turkey right now is to deny the ethnic dimension of the conflict.
Some 10 villages were affected by a sand storm that hit the Turkish capital on Sept. 12, threatening local workers' well-being and destroying their tents, a committee of officials from the main opposition said.
The governor's office of Mardin's Mazıdağı district has announced that two neighborhoods in the district were placed under COVID-19 quarantine. The governor's office said that the “circulation of seasonal workers” has been recently high in these two neighborhoods.
Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) data revealed that seasonally adjusted unemployment in May rose by 0.2 percent from May 2019. Some 4,166,000 people reported unemployment in May.
Seasonal workers in the southern province of Adana have to spend Eid al-Fitr away from their families and in tents due to their obligation to work to make a living. While it's a time for families to unite, seasonal workers, who stay in tents they set up near the agricultural lands, can't do so. "We don't return to their hometowns during Eid, because we have to finish the working season," said one of the workers, Mithat Batmaz.
A Turkey-based NGO that works with seasonal farmers criticized a lack of precautionary measures in fields as harvest season starts in the country. Workers have reportedly complained about a lack of personal protective equipment, as well as crowded transportation to fields despite the risk of spreading COVID-19 to other passengers.