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15 Feb 2022

Simon Glover, EcoTextile

Turkey: Six arrested after Istanbul textile factory fire kills at least five workers incl. Syrian refugees

See all tags Allegations

"Six arrested over Turkish textile factory fire", 15 February 2022

Six people have been arrested after at least five workers - including four Syrian refugees - were killed in a textile factory fire in...Istanbul.

Four of those who died reportedly tried to lock themselves into a toilet to escape the flames but died from smoke inhalation in the blaze in the Güngören district of the city.

Another six workers were taken to hospital following the fire in the four-storey building housing the factory, according to a statement from the Istanbul Governor’s Office.

They included one man who suffered leg injuries when he jumped from an upper window to escape the fire...

One of the rescued workers later told police officers that some employees had locked themselves in a toilet to escape the fire. This led to the launch of a search and rescue operation and the subsequent discovery of the bodies of four foreign workers.

The body of another worker was later recovered from another part of the building, increasing the death toll to five. So far, authorities have identified three of dead as Syrian refugees. Their bodies have been returned to their home country.

Six people were arrested after police launched an investigation into the fire. Three have been detained in custody while the other three were released on bail.

Seyit Aslan, chairman of the Gida-Is trade union and a board member of the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK), posted on Twitter: "Finding the workers locked in the toilets six hours after the fire is pure murder.

"We will follow all aspects of the process so that those who have responsibility here are immediately investigated, exposed and prosecuted."

A statement on the Gida-Is website said: "The policy of considering refugees as cheap workers causes refugee workers to die in accidents in the most disastrous way."