Death and coal of the poor come from the same source

Death and coal of the poor come from the same source

An illegally-run coalmine collapsed in the southeastern province of Şırnak. Seven miners have lost their lives, while one worker is still trying to survive.

Turkey’s Energy and Natural Resources Ministry announced that the area was closed since 2013 and the mine had no license.

A prosecutor has launched an investigation, and three people from the contractor company have been detained.

The workers lost their lives at 2:30 p.m. under the wreckage, and were buried at night; so the case is now closed!

At this point, I should be writing that the case will not be closed easily. But let’s not fool ourselves. The case is certainly closed.

What else was supposed to happen if the case was not closed?

Did people say, “The mine did not have a license?” Yes.

Were three people detained? Yes.

Were the dead buried after prayers? That’s another yes.

Was a selection of sad statements made? Yes.

But blame it on the nature of this job because the case is now closed.

The ministry had closed down coalmines in Şırnak, the governorate has banned them; yet we still see that in the last four years, 18 workers died in mines.

This case will also be closed and forgotten the exact way the previous ones were closed!

You may not understand how a mine at the foot of the Cudi Mountain, which was officially closed sometime between 2013 and 2014, can still work “illegally” and “secretly.”

The question coming from some opposition deputies such as, “Can there be an illegal mine operating in an area which is under tight security?” may not sound realistic.

But let’s take a closer look at the coal issue in Turkey and see it for ourselves.

In 2015, when Energy Minister Ali Rıza Alaboyun was asked in a written parliamentary question submitted by main opposition

Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu, he had said “2.3 million families have been supported with coal aid between 2003 and 2015, and therefore more than 20 million tons of coal have been delivered.”

That is the help coming from the government.

Some 85,000 families - only from Istanbul - have applied for the government’s coal aid in 2015. It looks like people are not very interested in using the natural gas which needs to be paid by them.

As we look at foundations, associations, local authorities, political parties, middlemen, contractor companies, transporters, subcontractors, chiefs, bribers, swindlers and so forth in the sector, we see a huge opportunity appearing before these people.

As the coal is delivered to the poor loaded in buckets and trucks, the money, on the other hand, also goes to its’ owners in the same plentiful way.

Yesterday it was reported in the news that the coal from the illegal mine in Şırnak was being delivered for free by “social aid and solidarity foundations” in 20 provinces.

The coal of the poor comes from the wreckage where they die.

Who is getting richer and stronger from this business and who is tolerating it?

This case is also already closed and we all know it.

Kanat Atkaya, hdn, Opinion,