People in Turkey ‘prefer tomfoolery during inspections’
AĞRI - Anadolu Agency
The main opposition CHP leader’s spouse, Selvi Kılıçdaroğlu (2nd L), comforts the wife of a miner who died in the disaster in the western province of Manisa. DHA PhotoThe ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Deputy Chair and Spokesperson Hüseyin Çelik has said it is a common phenomenon in Turkey that people prefer to cheat each other during inspections.
Çelik continued with his brilliant observation, noting that the inspectors have found no signs of negligence or problems in the coal mine in the western district of Soma before last week’s tragic accident. “If there are any insufficiencies here, we will of course take lessons from this and fix them immediately. But the labor inspectors have not found any abnormality in the area. Those who have served their mandatory military service know this well. People usually prefer to cheat each other in such inspections,” said Çelik told reporters in the eastern province of Ağrı, implying the inspections cannot detect problems because people cheat most of the time. Çelik also said in yesterday’s press conference in Ağrı that if the inspectors are any source of negligence, then the prosecutions should involve them too.
“Did the inspectors make a sham of an inspection for the sake of appearances or did they really do the inspection the way it should be? This should be questioned too,” said Çelik.
Some 301 miners died in a coal mine in the Soma district of the province of Manisa after an explosion took place on May 13, leaving the miners stranded in the mine without access to oxygen. Workers and families of the victims yesterday began staging a sit-in in the front of the Soma courthouse, demanding a transparent prosecution and an investigation on the head of the Maden-İş union, accusing the labor organization of not fulfilling its responsibility.
Minister on the job
Çelik also defended Labor Minister Faruk Çelik’s late arrival in Soma in the aftermath of the tragic accident upon a question from reporters. “Mr. Faruk Çelik has worked on this issue from the very first day from a Labor and Social Security perspective. We enforced the labor health law in 2012. This law is in line with European Union standards. We have also introduced regulations in this respect. One might say ‘there were no safe rooms in the mine and this is insufficiency.’ If there is any insufficiency, we have to take lessons from them,” he added.
Çelik had announced that he would not be able to arrive in Soma in the immediate aftermath of the disaster due to an illness. “Mines are not related to my department. Our ministry’s assignment to mines is limited to checks. The mines themselves, their licensing, and their execution are completely linked to the Energy Ministry,” he said.