Ankara urges EU delegation to compensate Turkish workers

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Ankara issued a diplomatic note to the European Union after the Delegation of the European Union to Turkey switched salary payments of its employees from euros to the Turkish lira and disregarded a court ruling to compensate the workers.

The issue regarding the payments of 78 employees was first reported by the Turkish newspaper Sabah. Following the report, the Turkish Foreign Ministry sent a note to the EU and demanded that the issue be settled amicably as soon as possible with an attitude in line with the final judgments given by the court.

The workers working in the delegation had filed a lawsuit after their wages in euros were singlehandedly converted into Turkish lira back in 2014. A Turkish court had ruled in favor of the employees and ordered the delegation to pay approximately 5 million euros (TL 79.4 million) to the workers and TL 2.8 million ($191,857) to the Turkish government for litigation expenses. The ruling was confirmed by the Turkish Supreme Court of Appeals in June 2021.

However, ignoring the court ruling, the EU had not made any payments. In its diplomatic note, the Turkish ministry stated that the number of files pending in the bailiff directorates has risen to 105, urging the delegation to resolve the issue soon.

The note issued by Ankara underlined that the relationship between the delegation and its local employees arising from labor law is a matter of private law and is subject to the laws of the Republic of Turkey. In its diplomatic notes dated Feb. 11 and 22, the EU delegation had argued that the matter was exempt from the local jurisdiction under the Vienna Convention. -Agencies