[Marxism] A Brief Summary Of June 2007 Social Rights Violations Report by SRA in Turkey

Eyup Ozer eyupozer at gmail.com
Mon Nov 19 12:07:27 MST 2007

*A Brief Summary Of June 2007 Social Rights Violations Report
National Statistics Institute published the unemployment rate for three
months period (February, March, April) according to these numbers
unemployment rates are 12,1 percent for cities and 7,8 percent for rural
areas. Of course some new people has joined these numbers in this month too,
especially in the media sector and especially in the Dogan News Group (the
biggest media conglomerate in Turkey). According to our report 59
journalists has fired from different news organizations in this group.

Contrary to this high unemployment rates, only a small portion of the
unemployed can get unemployment benefits. According to official statistics;
since 2002 only 814 thousand people has received unemployment benefit and
today there are 25 billion 869 million YTLs (around 22 billion US Dolars) in
the fund It is hard to understand the logic behind this. If you are not
going to spend the money in unemployment fund for unemployed, what are you
going to spend this money for.  For debt payments ?

While there are lots of news about the workers who can't live with their
very low wages, we heard a very strange proposition from IMF Turkey
representative Hugh Bredenkamp. According to Mr. Bredenkamp, the minimum
wage in Turkey is too high and Turkey has to lower this number. While we
were confused by this statement and thinking what is wrong with us, why
can't we live with such a high wage; a research made by Turk-Is (a trade
union federation) in this month made thinks clear for us. According to this
research the limit for famine in Turkey is 623 YTLs and limit for poverty is
2030 YTLs. And we need to remind that the net minimum wage in Turkey is
497,25 YTLs, so it is lower than the poverty limit and even lower than the
famine limit. I guess, according to IMF we all don't need to eat anyway.

ILO Application Committee discussed the report written by DISK (a trade
union federation) about the Turkey's violation of *Convention* no. *87* of
the ILO Concerning Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to
Organize. And they asked government to make necessary changes in the labour

Unfortunately this month there were lots of news on occupational accidents
as there is every month. According to accidents listed on this month's
report, 11 workers had lost their lives at work. 1 of them was in the metal
industry, 2 in Construction, 3 in service sector, 4 in Textile, and 1 person
in mining industry. And 61 workers were injured at occupational accidents, 1
of them was in Metal industry, 7 of them were in shipyards, 7 of them were
in Electricity, 5 of them were in service sector, 20 of them were in
Agriculture, 5 in Food industry, and 1 in mining industry. Also 300 workers
of a Turkish construction firm ENKA who are working in a construction at
Russia, has poisoned from the food which is served at their workplace.
Labour Department also published the official statistics on Occupational
Health and Safety for 2006. According to this numbers; in 2006, 916 workers
had died because of workplace accidents and 758 workers became physically
disabled because of workplace accidents. And one of the every three deaths
related to workplace accident was in construction. We also have to note that
even Labour Department admits that real numbers on occupational health and
safety are actually much higher than the official statistics.

Because of the 12 June World Day against Child Labour, lots of documents and
reports published this month on Child Labour. Official statistics tells that
958 thousand kids between 10-17 ages and 320 thousand kids between 6-14 ages
are working. And government officials say that according to this numbers,
child labour was reduced by half when you compare with the statistics of
1999. But some other researchers doesn't agree with this. A research made by
Şule Şahin, Melda Tanrıkulu and Emrah Delikan shows that 7 million kids
between 6-17 ages are working. And according to this research, 58 percent of
these children are working in the agriculture, 22 percent are working on
manufacturing industry , 10 percent in trade and 10 percent in service
sector. Even tough there is a huge difference between these two numbers,
even the lowest one says that 1 million children are working. When you look
at this number, you might have hard time to understand why Labour Department
is so happy with this new statistics.

Health Department of Samsun has announced that this year 172 people has
suffered from *"Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic"* fever disease and 10 of them
had died from this disease. After this statement 3 more people died this
month because of this disease. SES (Health and Social Service Workers Trade
Union) announced a declaration on this issue and they claimed that the
agriculture, farming and health policy of the government is making danger

*Social Rights Violation Report is produced monthly by Social Rights
Association (SRA) , you can find more information about SRA at
www.sosyalhaklar.org *

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