Tuzla shipyard where three workers died recommences work

After inspecting the site where three Tuzla shipyard workers died while testing out a lifeboat, Labor Minister Çelik said that the shipyards where accidents have occurred must be shut down.

The Gisan shipyard, located in the Tuzla district of İstanbul, an area with more than 40 shipyards infamous for frequent work-related accidents, resumed operations on Thursday, only two days after three of its workers were killed during a free-fall test on a lifeboat.

An investigation into the deaths is still under way, and the labor and social security minister on Wednesday said the only solution might be simply shutting down the shipyards in Tuzla with a poor track record on occupational safety.

Labor and Social Security Minister Faruk Çelik spoke to the press after inspecting the site of the Gisan shipyard accident. "Despite the continuous inspections by our ministry and the sanctions we have imposed, such fatal accidents have not stopped occurring at the Tuzla shipyards," he stated. Turkish newspapers have not used the word "accident" for the lifeboat deaths, instead calling them "murder." "Calling the incidents mere work accidents would be very unfair to the dead workers and their families. Such incidents are unacceptable. Those who are responsible for these events will be found out, and they will be punished," the minister stated. He also noted that the shipyards have been inspected seven times since 2007 by the Labor and Social Security Ministry, noting that some shipyards had previously been shut down temporarily until they brought their facilities up to safety standards and that others had been fined for safety violations. "We as the ministry exercise all the authority that we possess by law at the Tuzla shipyards, yet the problems continue," he said. The accident of the three workers on the lifeboat took place shortly after a parliamentary commission investigating industrial accidents indicated that most shipyards disregard safety regulations and force their employees to work in unsafe conditions. More than two dozen workers have died this year at the Tuzla shipyards