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25 Feb 2022

Turkey: Textile factory fire in Istanbul kills at least five workers incl Syrian. refugees

In February 2022, a textile factory fire in the Güngören district of Istanbul killed at least five workers and injured six. According to reports, four of the workers who died were Syrian refugees. Some of the workers locked themselves in a restroom to escape the fire, and died from smoke inhalation. The six injured workers were taken to hospital, and include a man who suffered leg injuries after jumping from a window to escape.

Six individuals were arrested in relation to the fire. Three were detained in custody, while the others were released on bail.

According to campaigners and unionists, the fire highlights the ongoing exploitation of Syrian refugees in the Turkish garment industry as 'cheap labour', and the dangerous working conditions they are 'forced' to work in.