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Turkey arrests 24 airport workers after protests

September 19, 2018

ISTANBUL (AP) — A construction workers union says 24 of its members have been detained in the aftermath of protests denouncing poor working conditions at Istanbul’s new airport.

The union Insaat-Is tweeted Wednesday that union leaders were among the arrested. Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency said they were put under pre-trial arrest on charges including damage to public property, attending a demonstration with weapons and violating the right to work.

Nineteen others were released but barred from leaving the country. They were among the hundreds of people detained after protests started Friday when a shuttle bus accident injured 17.

The workers are demanding better conditions, including improved safety, housing and food.

The first phase of the new airport, one of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s major constructions projects, is to open on Oct. 29.

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