The AKP government’s failure to monitor the profit-driven, exploitative private sector in the mining industry, and especially Soma Mining, has given way to this massacre. The government cannot avoid its liability with regard to this massacre.
The government has made an effort to block media coverage, not announce the number of workers trapped underground and divert public attention away from the massacre since day one.
Within the last four days following the explosion, not even one suspect has been called in for questioning, neither any investigation has been launched nor any minister or official in charge has resigned. The authorities have made falsified statements claiming that “the explosion started in a power distribution center”, “the fire has been put out” or that “there was a safe room inside the mine”.
The Prime Minister and the President has visited the site of explosion and their personnel and the police force has created a blackout in Soma during which the excessive of police force against the grieving families has augmented the pain of the mineworkers’ families. The Prime Minister has almost mocked the outcome of the explosion stating that “such deaths are ordinary consequences” and compared the massacre to other mining explosions from the 1800 and 1900s. The PM went even further to punch and assault a mineworker’s relative and his aide has been photographed assaulting another. Soma has been terrorized by the PM’s bodyguards and his personnel.
Furthermore, water cannons and riot police have attacked those who took the streets to protest the government’s handling of the situation and mourn the deaths in Soma. Many have been reported injured across Turkey.
Despite the violent oppression of the government, peoples across Turkey, college students, thousands of workers and teachers have taken the streets from Istanbul to Amed, from Dersim to Izmir, from Şırnak to Mersin and from Ankara to Giresun and Batman to mourn the deaths and demand that those responsible be brought to justice. The peoples of Turkey will continue to raise their voice against the massacre. The call for mass strike and nationwide protests has been taken on and thousands have gone to strike in their factories, hospitals and schools.
As Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), we have been closely monitoring the situation in Soma with a committee comprised of our Co-chairs Sebahat Tuncel and Ertuğrul Kürkçü, MPs Selma Irmak and Levent Tüzel, Central Committee members and local representatives. We have joined the Justice For Soma Committee in Soma.
The HDP parliamentary group and our local organizations will not let this massacre be forgotten. We will insistently demand that those responsible be brought to justice and the necessary measures be taken to prevent further tragedies. We will be the voice our peoples both in the parliament and on the streets.
The government should immediately respond to the following inquiries:
-Why hasn’t the government or any members of the cabinet resigned yet?
-Why is the government hesitant to sign the ILO Safety and Health in Mines Convention, 1995?
-Why was the implementation of safe rooms not a part of the regulations binding the private sector?
-What has led to such a high number of casualties in an explosion in a mine that was recently inspected?
-What went wrong during the search and rescue operations? Did the rescue operation pump oxygen underground that lead to an explosion?
-Why were heavily-armed bodyguards and security personnel present both at the hospital and the mine site during the PM’s visit?
-How many of the members of the rescue team died during the rescue operation? What caused these deaths?
-Did any mineworkers die due to first degree burns? If so, what is the exact number of those workers?
-Will coal-mining operations continue in Turkey?
-Were there any uninsured or unregistered workers in the mine?
HDP Central Committee
May 16, 2014