Turkish public buildings unsafe for workers
BARTIN – Doğan News AgencyAs Turkey debates work safety for laborers on private construction projects in the wake of a deadly Sept. 6 incident in Istanbul that killed 10 workers, new pictures have emerged showing that those toiling at public buildings are little better off.
Two workers were pictured without helmets or belts for their safety on scaffolding at a local Environment and Urban Planning Ministry building in the Black Sea province of Bartın.
The workers were working on the exterior insulation of the building despite lacking equipment to prevent accidents.
Local ministry official Ali Özcan said the workers were told to use helmets all the time. “Workers do not get on the scaffolding without helmets. Maybe those [workers who were pictured without any safety equipment] were just getting down from the scaffolding or they were pictured on the ground,” Özcan said.
Meanwhile, daily Radikal has started a campaign, publishing reader’s pictures from construction sites with poor safety conditions across Turkey.
One of these pictures was taken at the a building belonging to the state-run Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) in the southeastern province of Batman. Radikal reader, identified as V.Ç., said in his email that the building that hosts engineers working for safety at the TPAO is itself unsafe for laborers.
The deaths of 10 workers after an elevator plunged from the 32nd floor of the Torun Center in Istanbul's Şişli district caused indignation, especially after the construction company, Torunlar, refused to accept responsibility for the accident.
The incident also prompted the public to question Turkey’s construction boom in recent years, particularly in Istanbul, where huge residential complex projects are spreading rapidly across the city.