Gov’t outlines aid to be distributed to families of Soma victims
On May 16, 301 mine workers were killed in one of the most tragic mine accidents of Turkey. CİHAN PhotoEach of the 301 families of the Soma mine accident victims will be allocated nearly 155,000 Turkish Liras and will be given two houses, the Turkish prime minister has announced, adding the victims’ children will be granted an education scholarship for life.
“We have observed an example of genuine national solidarity in Soma. 46.5 million liras have been collected thanks to our nation’s charitableness. I want to thank the TOBB [Turkish Union of Chambers of Commodities] for the largest donation worth 16.8 million liras,” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in his weekly address to the Justice and Development Party (AKP) parliamentary group on July 15.
On May 16, 301 mine workers were killed in one of the most tragic mine accidents of Turkey. The government launched a massive campaign to heal the wounds of the Soma victims. Apart from cash donations, some private companies also contributed to the campaign, as Doğuş Holding and Gaziantep Chamber of Industry each donated 301 houses to the victims.
“Our brothers that were lost in this tragic accident left 434 children to our safekeeping. Out of them, we have 389 children who are at the age for education. I want thank to all of our associations and foundations that promised to provide lifetime education grants to them,” he stressed.
CHP, MHP in imposition
Prime Minister Erdoğan repeated his criticisms toward the oppositional parties and their joint presidential candidate, Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu. Recalling that Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu urged the electorate to cut their holidays short and to go vote on Aug. 10, Erdoğan said “Those who order his electorate to go to vote shamelessly describe us as a dictator. If you are looking for a dictator, there is no better dictator than you.”
Erdoğan accused the CHP and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) of establishing a bloc against his presidential candidacy and stressed that the oppositional candidates’ complaints that the race was not happening under equal conditions were right. “It’s true; we are not in an equal race with the other candidates. All of the opposition came together against the AK Party. The CHP and MHP, a bunch of minor parties, marginal leftist organizations, certain media, their writers and commentators are all in support of our rivals. The Pennsylvania gang is also giving their backing,” he said, referring to the Fethullah Gülen community.
“There is a reaction against their leadership in the grassroots [of two oppositional parties]. The CHP appointed a virtual, imported candidate that has nothing to do with the people, with the CHP,” he said.
Erdoğan said he was hopeful that he will receive votes from both the CHP and MHP on Aug. 10. “On Aug. 10, the doors of the old Turkey will be closed.”