In a colander, rinse barley under cold water.
In a medium pot over high heat, bring barley, water, and bay leaves to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook barley until tender and water is absorbed, about 20–30 minutes.
In a colander, drain barley. Set aside.
Peel, rinse, and dice onions. Rinse and dice celery and pepper. Peel and mince garlic.
In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat oil.
Add onions, celery, pepper, and garlic to pot. Mix well. Cook until veggies are soft, about 5 minutes.
Add ground turkey. Cook until turkey is cooked through, about 5 minutes more.
Add tomatoes and their juices. Bring to a simmer.
Add spices. Stir to combine. Cover and reduce heat. Cook at a low simmer for 15 minutes.
Add cooked barley to the mixture. Stir to combine. Add more water or broth, if needed. Cook over low heat to blend flavors, about 5–10 minutes more.
Remove bay leaves and serve.