Ermenek coal workers complained 124 times
According to the Ankara representative of daily Yeni Şafak, Abdülkadir Selvi, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told the families of the victims who died in the coal mine accident in Ermenek: “I wish you had written a letter before and informed us of this in some way; we could have done what was necessary.”
He is trying to say, “If you had written a letter to me, if you had let me know, I would have stopped this scandal from the start.”
When the president says “one,” you very well know Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has developed a tradition to say “two” in return. I am guessing that this must be getting on the president’s nerves.
Erdoğan said this, as we learn from Selvi: “I am also a son of these lands; Transportation Minister Lüftü Elvan is your son. If you had informed him, we could have followed up.”
Daily Hürriyet’s reporter Hacer Boyacıoğlu had a story on Oct. 31, reporting that workers filed 124 separate complaints about the other mines owned by the family that owns the mine in Ermenek to the Labor Ministry, but the ministry did not raise a finger.
They fined them a few times and that was all.
The president and the prime minister are saying, “You should have written a letter,” but look, it is not just a letter, they filed official complaints. And look at what happened.
The biggest “official’ palaver
The labor minister said, “This will not go unpunished. Whoever is involved in negligence will be punished, blah blah blah…”
The energy minister, who is known for his good public relations skills said, “No question is left without an answer; no person responsible will be left without a punishment, blah, blah, blah…”
After the Soma coal mine massacre where 301 workers died in May, it was revealed that labor inspectors had written in their report, “There is no fault or deficiency in the mine.”
The Prosecutor’s Office, while conducting the investigation about the Soma massacre, asked for permission from the ministry to investigate the 12 labor inspectors who inspected the mine and a general manager.
And the labor minister, who thundered after the Soma massacre, did not give permission to the prosecutor to investigate these officials.
The same thing will happen after this latest massacre as well. Do not pay any attention to those who say, “The responsible people will pay for this; whoever is responsible, we will find them.”
This is the biggest lie that the "New Republic of Turkey" has borrowed from the old one: Workers die, and nobody will ever be held accountable.
Beating the workers seeking their rights
Official eyes that search for those responsible after such disasters, sooner or later turn to the victims of the disaster.
The president says, “You should have written a letter and informed us,” then he calls trade unions for duty.
A portion of the trade unions that are to defend the rights of the workers are “company unions;” I am not counting them.
If real trade unions take to the streets to defend their rights, if they stage a demonstration at the entrance of the mine, if they encourage workers to put down tools, this is what will happen to them:
Workers who are members of a union will be fired. Those who participate in demonstrations to defend their rights, they will be beaten by the gendarmerie or the police; they will be sprayed with tear gas and by water cannons.