‘Privatisation kills Turkish miners’

This video from Turkey says about itself:

14 May 2014

Turkey: Police smash Soma mine disaster march

Thousands of demonstrators clashed with police in the centre of Istanbul on Wednesday during a march protesting the mine disaster that killed hundreds of workers in the town of Soma.

Activists blamed the government for lax safety regulations and called on the leadership to resign over the affair. Police deployed tear gas and water cannon against the crowds, which converged on Taksim Square.

Prime Minister Reccep Tayyip Erdogan visited the scene of the disaster earlier in the day, where he was booed by a vocal section of the crowd, who accused him of being a ‘murderer’ and ‘thief’.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Unrest after mine disaster in Turkey

Thursday, May 15th, 2014, 12:57 (Update: 15-05-14, 13:27)

In Turkey there is a strike today against the poor working conditions in the Turkish coal mines. According to the trade unions, the work has become more dangerous because many mines have been privatized. The new owners have less regard for safety.

The strike was caused by the mining disaster in Soma. Its death toll has risen to 282. 150 people are still missing. The chance that they are still alive, is small. Since yesterday morning, no more survivors have come out of the mine.

The Soma mine was transferred to private ownership in 2005.

Soma Holdings, the new owners, are sugar daddies of the ruling AKP party.


The one-day strike was called by unions of miners, but many other unions have joined. In Istanbul protesters took to the streets. They shout slogans against the government and carry with them banners stating “It’s not an accident, it is murder.”

In other cities there were protests as well. In the capital Ankara people have called for a march to the Ministry of Labour. Participants are asked to wear black clothing.


The anger also focuses on Prime Minister Erdogan. Yesterday, he went to the mine, and then he made insensitive statements. Erdogan said that accidents will happen all the time in the mining industry.

Somewhat similar to George W Bush’s Secretary of ‘Defence’ Donald Rumsfeld’s infamously saying: “Stuff happens”, when his invasion of Iraq led to massive looting of Iraqi archaeological treasures.

He was referring to serious accidents in England a long time ago.

Erdogan was treated to boos. As he drove away people kicked his Prime Minister’s official car. The offices of his AK party in Soma were also attacked. Today in the newspapers there are photographs of an Erdogan employee kicking a protester lying on the ground in Soma.

The government is accused, among other things, of blocking a parliamentary inquiry into recent mining accidents.

The political turmoil comes at a bad time for Erdogan. He wants to run in the presidential elections to be held in August.

Protests erupted across Turkey yesterday over the catastrophic mine disaster in the city of Soma as the government and the Soma Kumur company that operated the mine brazenly defended the profiteering and the absence of security precautions that produced the tragedy: here.

WORKERS across Turkey went on strike today in protest at the government neglect and privatisation which led to the ongoing Soma mine disaster: here.

TURKEY’S mass protests over the Soma disaster will surprise no-one who is aware of both the combativeness of the Turkish working class and the provocative oafishness of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan: here.

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