Watch part two 

Just a few years ago, Turkey was hit by one of the worst economic crises in its history. The currency tumbled, a string of banks went bust and many lost their jobs.

Now there is quite a different picture with Turkey receiving praise from organisations such as the IMF, the World Bank, the EU and the US as an economic success story.

Ship building has been partly responsible for this resurgence. The sector has seen record growth of 360 per cent since 2002, a result of international legislation calling for the refit and restoration of industrial ships in line with environmental policies. 

This growth has also created a high demand for labour. But there is another side to this resurgence. In a country where unemployment is at 10 per cent and can reach 60 per cent in rural areas, unskilled labour is not in short supply.

Shipyards and subcontractors take advantage of this and often employ workers regardless of their experience. The sector according to the shipyards is just going through teething problems as it develops into an economic powerhouse.

Poorly paid workers often risk life and limb working in unsafe conditions. Istanbul's shipyards have this year alone seen 17 deaths in work-related accidents.

The shipyard owners say the industry is just experiencing some teething problems as it develops into an economic powerhouse.

Speaking to workers, lawyers, Gisbir (the powerful shipyards businessmans' association) and the unions the film takes a deeper look at Istanbul's shipyards - the human side and technical side of the job. Just why is it so dangerous and why do the main contractors refuse to talk about or acknowledge the death toll?

One criteria for Turkey's EU accession is improvements in work safety, labour reforms and developments in workers' rights. But 44 per cent of Turkey's labour force is unregistered and while reigning in this black economy might leave government coffers laughing all the way to the treasury, it would also mean upsetting some of the powerful businessmen who have pledged their support to the government.

People, power and corruption. The shipyard workers are quickly becoming the victims of this power play, and no one seems to be listening.

In this episode, People & Power also takes a look back at Max Keiser's examination of the carry trade, a financial instrument that central bankers and politicians around the world are increasingly blaming for global asset bubbles. Asset bubbles, they say, are more likely to burst the bigger they get.

Keiser travels to Iceland to demonstrate how this remarkable trade can enable a nation of less than 300,000 to buy up tens of billions of dollars in British assets.

This episode of People & Power aired from Saturday, October 11, 2008.

Source: Al Jazeera