Turkish court rules for record compensation to unregistered worker

Turkish court rules for record compensation to unregistered worker

Turkish court rules for record compensation to unregistered worker

A photo of Avganov family.

A court in Istanbul has ruled that a Turkish company that employed an unregistered worker from Türkmenistan, but disowned him after he died in a work-related incident, must pay a record amount of compensation to his family.

Akmuhammed Avganov, 32, died when land filled the canal where he was working during infrastructure work for a housing project built by Yücel Konut in Istanbul’s Sarıyer neighborhood on July 11, 2009. Avganov, who was not carrying any documents, could not be identified immediately, and subcontractor firm Çağlar Yapı denied responsibility for him.

Avganov’s family managed to halt his burial in a shared grave at the last moment and eventually sued both Yücel Konut and Çağlar Yapı.

The five-year-long legal saga ended after Istanbul’s 12th Labor Court ruled in favor of the family on June 25. The court found Yücel Konut 90 percent liable and Çağlar Yapı 10 percent liable for the accident, and ruled that they must together pay 170,000 Turkish Liras in compensation to Avganov’s wife and three children.

Earlier this year, Istanbul’s 13th Labor Court had ruled that the incident was a work-related accident, paving the way for Turkey’s Social Security Institution (SGK) to pay 750 liras to Avganov’s wife every month until she remarries or dies.

In a related penal law suit, two officials of the subcontractor firm who were responsible at the construction site have been given suspended sentences of more than one year in prison.

The case will not only form a precedent for the legal rights of foreign workers in Turkey, but also stipulates that any laborer in Turkey is considered insured by the SGK if he or she dies in a work-related accident.