Dec 10 2017

Turkish housing agency hires underpaid Syrian refugees for redevelopment in Kurdish southeast

Turkey’s Public Housing Development Agency (TOKİ) employs Syrian refuges under very poor conditions, left-leaning newspaper Evrensel reported.

Turkish government is undertaking a major urban re-development effort in the southeast region which were damaged during the intensified armed conflict between Turkish army and the Kurdish insurgent groups.

In Cizre, a town on the Syrian border, is one of the places where TOKİ uses subcontractors for the building of new housing blocks.

Syrian refugees work at these construction companies for a daily wage of 40-45 Turkish lira, about $11 per day, Evrensel wrote.

Majority of them are coming from the Syrian city of Raqqa.

These workers have no health insurance and have no job security, Evrensel said, while most of them live in barracks at the construction site to avoid being caught by authorities.

Cizre locals also complain about the situation, Evrensel reported. Underpaid and undocumented workers hit the town where the official unemployment rate is already at the 29 per cent.

Subcontractors exploit refugees who had to flee their country, and now this causes Cizre locals to leave the town to find work elsewhere, they said.



Diyarbakır's ancient Sur region is also going thorough a similar destruction and redevelopment, protested by the locals.