Angry Turks Demand Answers After Mine Disaster

Rescue workers battled to reach people trapped underground after an explosion at a coal mine triggered a fire that was still burning on Wednesday.

Comments: 26

  1. Isn't it time that owners and executives of mining companies were held accountable for the deaths of hundreds of miners when it is shown that they were negligent or complicit in the violation of safety procedures? Isn't it time someone went to jail when it is proven that they faked safety documents and told supervisors and foremen to continue working even knowing conditions are unsafe? Isn't it time governments were held accountable for failure to enforce health and safety laws on the books? This is criminal behavior, just as bad as the owners of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh who ignored cracks in the pillars and sent workers into the factory building to die when it collapsed an hour later. They are murderers of the innocent.

  2. Being entombed in a deep dark mine shaft has to rank as one of the worst forms of death. One cannot but help feel for these miners and what they do to dig up the coal which fires the boilers which makes the steam that runs the generators that produce the electricity that I use so thoughtlessly every time I flip a switch.
    We should all perhaps pause a little and reflect before throwing the next switch.

  3. How strong are unions in Turkey? My guess is not very strong. The unions are strongest where the work is most dangerous.
    How safe are Turkish mines? My guess, again, is not very safe. Safety is most often sacrificed for clear, commercial gain.
    What kind of compensation will the families of the victims receive? Whatever it will be, it will not be enough.

  4. The laws abouth labour safety in Turkey are NOT BAD,but their waiwed for anybody that are close to the goverment.That is why many in Turkey say that this is akin to murder,when you are able to reduce the extraction cost for one ton of coal from 140 to 28 ,by selling to a politically conected company,some tiny,tiny litle warning lamp should start blinking.

  5. "The dirt road leading here would normally be used by trucks loaded with tons of coal."

    The owners of the mine evidently can't even be bothered paving the road leading up to it. One can only imagine what hazards existed underground.

  6. It is very sad how such tragedy is mentioned with statistics and numbers by the mine owner and even worse by someone who calls himself prime minister of the country.

  7. The owner of this mine has close relationship with Turkish prime minister Mr. Erdogan. Also some of the owner's relatives are in the city council, elected from Mr. Erdogan's governing party, AKP.

    It seems like this mining company is the main supplier of cole that AKP uses to bribe poor people during elections unlike in any Western democracy. In addition to all, only 2 weeks ago opposition party CHP requested an investigation on this very mine at the parliament. Motion was denied by the votes of AKP members.

    Turkish prime minister who was arrogantly defending the mining company yesterday instead of showing any remorse for the disaster, is proud to switch the direction of modern Turkey from West to East in every aspect in last decade. What he doesn't realize is leaders in Europe come and go with elections. Unfortunately in the Middle East losing power is mostly more than losing just the elections.

  8. TURK, l am also a TURK, 80 years old left TURKEY 1960, there are more important thins in these world than economy, like FREEDOM , like SEPARATION STATE AND RELIGON , like FREE PRESS and FREE CORDS , than when a country has these things economy will be good too, ERDOGAN is a very bad person for his country, he and his gang are thives and taking their country to the dark age, ERDOGAN is another ASSAD and must go with a election or some other way, he is not bad not only to his country but to western world , l say send him to next to MENDERES, l am also very upset with NYT , why because the coverage they are giving to this Mine Collapse, more than 300 Turks died and for NYT , this was another news

  9. It is worthless to criticize prime minister anymore because he states about best economy in Turkey since his party rules over the country in every chaotic situation. He never gives up not taking and accepting responsibility. People seeks objective institutions or even try to form institutions during these chaotic environment.

  10. I agree with you Batuhan, he is a coward dictator

  11. Erdogan seems to have forgotten where he came from - the working class. He defended those, who run the Soma mine, which was privatised in 2005: “Explosions like this in these mines happen all the time,” he said. “It’s not like these don’t happen elsewhere in the world.”
    The privatisation of the mining sector under his rule had made working conditions more dangerous. His government rejected a recent proposal for a parliamentary inquiry into mine accidents in the area.

  12. Erdogan doesn't seem to care about these matters at all. The only thing he is concerned is how to bind relgion with the state. I don't like the direction the state of Turkey is going right now. Erdogan destroys everything Atatürk wanted to achieve. There is no possibility that Turkey is going to be accepted by the european states.

  13. Anon - but you are now forgetting that nearly the whole world is on the same track as Erdogan. We in America are moving in this direction of church/state with the most recent Supreme Court rulings and seeds of this sentiment can be found all over Europe as well.

  14. Mr Erdogan did not come from the working class,FYI his father was a Istanbul sea captain,he has consistently nourished the myth of his humble background,-it is not true.

  15. Mine safety in Turkey can be improved with collaboration between Turkish unions and the United Mine Workers as well as government counterparts in the US and Turkey. Sadly, I doubt that Mr. Erdogan or his increasingly power hungry government would permit any effective collaboration.

  16. Money Quote:

    The government’s critics say it has long had a cozy relationship with mining interests, and as recently as two weeks ago it defeated an effort to establish a parliamentary commission to address safety issues in the coal industry.

    Just like America!

  17. This is not a passage from Emile Zola's Germinal.
    Nothing has changed when the subject is profit&labor.
    "The coal mines were privatized – most sold to businessmen close to the ruling party – and the owner of the mine in Soma was proud to have reduced the cost of mining coal from $130-140 to $23.8 per ton, “thanks to the operational methods of the private sector.”

  18. Ahmet abi,this is not realy the "privat sector".these companies are run by people who are very well conected to the current regime in Turkey. Their deals are financed by Turkish state banks at interest rates that no nonconected bussines man in Turkey can get,furthermore the normal legal requirements do not aply to these companies,they newer get controled.. In efect,they transfer these state assets for free to Companies that suport Mr Erdogan.

  19. As the comment by turk indicates one can see and smell Erdogan's corrupt regime in everything and in this tragedy in Turkey. He dismisses this unprecedented tragedy as something that occurs all the time and everywhere instead of taking responsibility and promising to investigate and take measures so that it will not happen again. For example, in this case, why wasn't there a backup system to provide electricity for ventilation? The same Erdogan once said, "Military service is not lying down and resting" in reference to soldiers who were dying in the civil war with the Kurdish separatists. This is from a man whose two sons avoided military service.

  20. My grandfather was CEO of the Dutch State Mine Company, now called DSM, a long time ago 1908- 1942 and during his presidency there was never a mine accident with fatalities while employing 30.000 people.
    Reason: During his presidency his priority was the safety of 'his' miners who as he said 'paid his salary'. He also visited the miners down in the shafts weekly to keep himself informed and up-to-date.
    How much this world has changed where present executives and CEO's are more concerned about stock prices, profits, salary and bonuses for themselves and their white collar executives.
    With leaders like my Grandfather also today we would have less mine accidents. My Grandfather even today stands out as an example of leadership and management style.

  21. As usual Turkey's third world standards are in effect. Greedy corporation also engaged a corrupt business with Government is not investing anything to mines which they are running, instead they are constructing a ultra Luxury skyscraper in Istanbul.

    Hey it is the same scenario as Bangladeshi textile factories, cheapest work maximum profit.

  22. The prime minister of Turkey again demonstrates his total contempt for the people in Turkey. Turkeys problem is that this man just do not understand how democracy works,I strongly emphatise,its not a question of disregarding democracy, that is for other Turkish politicians,its a question of having a leader of a nation of 77 million who do not understand democratic proseses.This person believes,like a back street gang leader,that if he is the "strongest kid on the block",he can do whatever he wants. And,-that includes having his "political advisors" kicking grieving relatives of those he has condemned to death by sellinig out state asets to his cronies,financing their deals through state banks and totaly disregarding safety regulations. PITTY THE NATION!!

  23. This took my breath away. Says all there is to say.

    "In the face of criticism from opponents and families of the miners, though, the often thin-skinned leader grew testy. “Explosions like this in these mines happen all the time,” he said. “It’s not like these don’t happen elsewhere in the world.”

    The government’s critics say it has long had a cozy relationship with mining interests, and as recently as two weeks ago it defeated an effort to establish a parliamentary commission to address safety issues in the coal industry."

  24. 383 people died at mine explosion not 200~250 .

  25. The answer is the same as almost every other prob;em there is : businesspeople care about money above everything else.

  26. Prime Minister Erdogen has been transforming Turkey from becoming a Modern, Western Nation--and a potential Member of the European Union--into an Authoritarian, Islamic State. Worker Safety--especially in Mines--should always be emphasized by the Government and the Industry. Unfortunately, since caring for Employees eats into profits, Industry wins. Perhaps P.M. Erdogan's comments about Mine Safety of Centuries Past is an indication of where he wants to take Turkey.