Istanbul: airport construction workers protest

Police in Istanbul have used tear gas and heavy vehicles against striking construction workers at the site of the city's new airport. Around 400 protesters were arrested. The workers have long complained about the labour conditions on social media, including poor accommodation and problems with wage payments. The strike has divided Turkey's media.

Open/close all quotes
Birgün (TR) /

Let us rebel together!

Birgün calls for solidarity with the workers:

“They're not asking for much. Only to not be treated like slaves any longer and to work under at least minimally humane conditions. ... Let us listen to the voices of the labourers who are beginning to rebel against the exploitative system as the economic crisis starts to really bite. Now that the foundation on which the government has been based for sixteen years is starting to wobble and its pillars crumble, let us carry the voices of the workers, the employees, the poor, the people, into politics and bring all our voices together!”

Habertürk (TR) /

These protests are implausible

Journalist Fatih Altaylı writes in Habetürk that the protests are being steered from abroad:

“In all honesty I don't find it particularly logical that for four years and three months these workers didn't say a thing about their conditions, yet now, five weeks before the end when 98 percent of the project is finished, they start finding fault and stage an uprising. ... It seems to me extremely illogical for them to risk being hit with clubs, arrested or fired without compensation when so little time remains. ... With the new airport so close to completion, it's clear that someone is up to no good.”