Two Zonguldak mines lack authorization, mayor confirms amid strikes
AA photoTwo coal mines in the Black Sea province of Zonguldak, where miners are staging a hunger strike over unpaid wages, have been operating without authorization, Zonguldak Mayor Ali Kaban has confirmed.
Meeting with a delegation from the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB), Kaban said one of the mines in the Kilimli district of Zonguldak has been operating without permission for one and a half years, while the other one has been operating without permission for six months. He said the Turkish Hard Coal Authority (TTK) was to blame for this situation.
Some 245 miners at the two facilities have not been paid for nearly four months and 85 have opted to strike by refusing the leave one of the mines, to which a trustee was appointed on April 13 for alleged links to the so-called “Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ),” referring to followers of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) accuses of trying to overthrow the government.
Visiting the mine on May 24 to show solidarity with the workers, the TMMOB delegation was blocked by the police. After making a press statement in a square in Kilimli, the delegation was attacked by a group of around 15 to 20 people, resulting in two people being injured.
Meanwhile, 20 miners, whose health conditions have deteriorated due to the hunger strike, have been taken to hospitals.
“We will be in the mine until we die if necessary,” the miners have vowed, saying they are simply demanding their rights.