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Coal Mine Tragedy in Turkey Shows Inhumanity

Mark Piazzalunga

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283 victims, dozens of missing people. These are the numbers of the tragedy that happened in a mine in Soma, Turkey. 450 were saved and 80 are wounded Hurriyet (one of the most important turkish newspapers) reported. Hundreds of rescuers continue to search for workers in the galleries of the mine more than 400 meters below the ground. At the time of the fire, probably sparked by a short circuit, in the galleries (4 km long), there were 787 workers. Carbon monoxide is the main cause of the death. Two weeks ago, the main opposition party, the Chp of Kemal Kilicdaroglu, had asked for an inquiry into mine safety in Soma. The proposal was rejected by the Akp, Erdogan party, which has the absolute majority in the great Assembly of Ankara.

The country is in revolt and the protests have reached alarming levels. Erdogan has been contested because of lack of safety controls in the mine and the statement "it is something that can happen and happens in many other countries." hasn't calmed the protesters. Apparently Erdogan also launched an anti-semitic insult to a protester and it's uncleared if he beated him or the daughter of one of the workers who died in the fire. What's for sure is that the body guards of the president beat the protester. I think what happened is shocking and tragic. The security conditions were insufficient or even absent and there's a horrible explanation. The owner of this coal mine a few months ago boasted of the decrease of coal price, from $130 to $30, and now we understand where he found the money.

These innocent workers died because of the greed of one man and the people who wanted to help them were in a minority situation. These workers have been forgotten by a blind government and the counselor of president Erdogan beat a protester lying on the ground (see the photo). These are signs of incivilty and inhumanity that brings us back of centuries to a barbarian society where workers have to work as slaves in tragic conditions. We have to fight this incivilty protesting and denouncing the responsables of this disaster.

Photo from NY Daily News.


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Such a sad accident, and it seemed to have been made much worse due to greed from the mine owners. :( And the response from leading politicians in Turkey is beyond comprehensible.


Chris Williams writes that the miners were killed by a system that values fossil fuels and profits above the lives of those who are paid poverty-level wages to dig for coal. His solution to prevent future accidents is collective ownership.

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I think it's horrible that in the 21st century people have to work and die like slaves in the most terrible places in the world and the most shocking thing is the response of the government "it can happen". I truly hope it won't happen anymore.

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