Miners end hunger strike at trustee-appointed mine in Turkey’s north
ZONGULDAKA number of miners have ended their hunger strike after being persuaded by the provincial police chief in the Kilimli district of the Black Sea province of Zonguldak. The strike, which was in its 11th day, began after the miners did not receive their wages for four months.
The miners went through health checks in front of the mine, which has been operating without authorization. A total of 66 miners ended their strike due to deteriorating health conditions during the 11-day strike.
Some 245 miners at the facility have not been paid for nearly four months and 85 opted to strike by refusing to leave the mine, to which a trustee was appointed for alleged links to the so-called “Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ),” which refers to the followers of Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish Islamic scholar based in the United States who is accused of plotting a coup against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Some 19 miners continuing their strike on May 27 formed an artificial blockade at the mine’s main gallery, effectively blocking access to their location amid rising concerns over their health. The blockade was later removed.
Meanwhile, the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DİSK) staged a protest in Istanbul’s Taksim Square to support the miners.
“Death is not the fate of miners, we are with the hunger-striking miners,” chanted the DİSK members, as they stressed that the miners were “not alone.”
“The miners in Kilimli are struggling with their families and relatives shoulder-to-shoulder above the ground and under it for their unpaid wages, job security and labor rights,” said Arzu Çerkezoğlu, DİSK’s secretary general, on May 28.