Denial, anger, depression, acceptance
GÜLSE BİRSEL - firstname.lastname@example.orgMaybe because I have reached my “mature” ages, maybe because of the dimensions of the disaster; somehow this Soma tragedy has been an incident I have been affected the most emotionally among the ones we experienced up until today.
The majority of us share the same sentiment, I guess. All the eyes in Turkey are soared from crying, hearts are bleeding. If it were a natural disaster, our souls would have still hurt the same but since the fate factor would seem more dominant, we could have found some endurance power through reliance. Of course, there is also the human fault in those disasters as in earthquakes and floods. Such as the contractor who has built a building poorly, the municipality which has issued building permits to unsuitable places and the greedy political power which has diverted river beds… But again, it is relatively easier in that situation to “accept what has come from God.”
They died of human error
Let’s be frank: Those workers who did the most difficult job in the world with a salary of 1,300 Turkish Liras died absolutely and entirely of human error. They did not trip and hit their heads on the rock inside the mine. They did not die because a cherry stone stuck in their throats. They died because of other people’s carelessness, indifference, selfishness and greed… The state that does not conduct checks, the politician who overlooks, the bureaucrat who keeps quiet, the boss who treasures profit maximization over human life, the “ever-nodding” general manager, the “teflon” administrators… They died because of these reasons.
As a matter of fact, because of me and also you, who have not talked, who have not written, who have not rejected every day, who have kept quiet about those who work under catastrophic conditions with a thousand risks to their lives…. They died because of us; we, who do not get involved in businesses that do not concern us, who let sleeping dogs lie.
For this reason, we are in a very intense, very dark and unfortunately very late mourning.
Psychiatrist Elizabeth Kubler Ross defined the stages of grief in 1969: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Isn’t it interesting that our government, in the Soma incident, is experiencing these stages the other way around? They started with acceptance. They recommended submission and trust in God, as if a volcano had just erupted. They also said “these kinds of accidents were in the nature of the business.” Then came depression. Minister Taner Yıldız, in an exhausted state, stated that they were afraid that the number of casualties would increase. It was also said, “Unfortunately, the responsible ones have also died.”
Are we surprised?
Then came the state of bargaining. We have seen movements such as, “If there is neglect, we’ll look into it,” and “Who is protecting this boss; if there is such a thing, we will find it.” Following this, “anger” started, at their final stage. Detention, arrests of the responsible ones. Unfortunately, during that stage, protesters had to deal with kicks, tear gas and water cannon as well during that stage. They are the routine “anger absorbers” of the country anyway. Are we the least bit surprised? Well, no.
I think they are about to enter the “denial” stage. The government will strongly deny that it has any connection with this company, any closeness, joint business, any inclusion in the incident, any neglect and any mistakes in the system.
Personally, I am experiencing the stages of grief on this matter in order. However, I reject moving on to “acceptance.” It’s not bearable anymore. It is not fate or anything similar to fate that in this country workers die in mines, dockyards and constructions every year. Something’s got to change. It is high time for the 75 million to curb the wildness of our capitalism, to change our priorities.
I do not accept it. I insist on anger and bargaining. This matter will be corrected and until it is corrected, grief will not come to an end.