Business world mobilizes to help heal losses in Soma
AA PhotoThe business world has stepped up to the plate to support victims of the mine disaster that killed at least 282 people in Soma.
While leading business organizations and universities have begun to mobilize aid campaigns for the Soma mine victims, banks rushed to write off dead miners’ debts and mobile operators offered services to ease communication.
The Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) took the lead with a 5 million Turkish Lira aid for Soma, calling the entire business world to join the campaign.
“As TOBB, we want to support our martyred miners’ families, who are now consigned to us, with our chambers and stock exchanges in 81 provinces and 160 districts,” TOBB Chairman Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu said at a meeting in Istanbul May 14.
“With this aim, we are kicking-off a country-wide aid campaign,” he said, announcing 5-billion lira contribution in the name of the TOBB.
For their part, Turkish lenders have begun to announce plans to provide conveniences in loan payments for the miners killed and injured during the accident.
ING, Akbank and Islamic lender Bank Asya have become the first that declared they will wipe the loaned debts of the miners who died in the accident that occurred on May 13.
“Personal loans of miners who lost their lives in this tragic incident will be wiped off and we will restructure the loans of the injured miners according to their needs,”Akbank CEO Hakan Başgil said in a written statement. “With our Soma branch, we are ready to give every kind of support for our citizens in these tough times,” the bank said.
Bank Asya cleared all personal loan and credit debts of the late dead miners, while postponing Fund Support loans for all personal and SME customers of the Soma branch.
ING Bank also wiped all debts of accident victims off, including credit card debts.
The bank also said it will give up its insurance share from life insurance of the dead workers.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s two leading mobile operators Vodafone and Turkcell have introduced a number of measures to facilitate communication to the region.
Vodafone Turkey told Anadolu Agency it contacted the rescue teams as soon as it heard the disaster news to take necessary measures to maintain uninterrupted communication.
The company also sent six mobile base stations to Soma and raised data and speech capacities at the region.
Turkcell also granted 75 minutes, 75 MB internet and 75 SMS for the customers in the region for free.
The company, which boosted its 2G and 3G mobile communication stations, also activated mobile lines that were suspended due to debt.