What killed mine worker Mustafa Sarı? Nature?
Mine worker Mustafa Sarı survived a mine accident four years ago. Eight of his colleagues died.
The other day, Sarı died at another mine accident in Gelik, in the Kilimli district of the Black Sea province of Zonguldak.
What killed Mustafa Sarı? Did he die because of the “nature” of his job?
His son Doğukan Sarı was interviewed and photographed four years ago, crying and waiting for his father at the entrance of the mine. They were also photographed later hugging each other.
This time, Doğukan was filmed and interviewed at the morgue. When the microphone was held out to him, he told reporters the following:
“Even though he survived that accident four years ago, my father was not hired by the Turkish Coal Institute [a state-run organization with better conditions] although they hired 12 other people. My father was an expert. He knew the mine business to the core. But they hired others who have no experience or knowledge. In the end, he had to take a job at less regulated mine. He went in alive but came out dead. He used to tell us there was water coming from the mine. I told him not to work in the mine but then I realized he had to work there to make a living. Even if I had told him so, he would not have listened to me. He was working in the mine for us, for the family.”
Was it “the nature of the job” that killed Mustafa Sarı?
Doğukan was trying to talk without crying. He is just 17 years old.
“I will take care of my mother and my sister. I won’t let them down. My father supported us and brought us up. He was close to retiring and had one more year to go. He always said, ‘I can take an extra job after I retire.’ But he wasn’t able to retire. After the accident four years ago, he worked in construction and later he went back into mining,” he said.
“I saw my father in the morgue. I kissed him, I hugged him. I will continue to go to school. I don’t know how I will carry on my studies with this mood, but I won’t leave school. I will continue,” Doğukan added.
Sure, it’s not the mafia-like subcontracting system that caused Mustafa Sarı’s death. Sure, it isn’t the merciless supervisor/recruiter system, the tool of exploitation, that killed him.
Of course, it couldn’t be the research studies commissioned after every major accident without ever reach anywhere that killed him. How can the eyes that do not see the reports, the ears that do not hear the cry of the mine workers who protest the cruelty they are forced into, be murderers?
There is also no possibility that the mentality of the boss, intoxicated by profits and forcing production capacity to an extreme, could have killed him…
The order that equips mine workers with antiquated gas masks, that cancels necessary measures because they are “too expensive,” that pushes mine workers in every shift to die underground, cannot be the cause of the murder…
The lack of trade unions, or the “yellow unionism” we have, cannot be the cause either…
Mine workers buckle under dreadful conditions with the threat “You will lose your job if you don’t accept it.”
But of course the low-lives who force them down there and their cohorts do not have blood on their hands.
After the latest accidents, some may come out again and say death is in “the nature” of these kinds of professions.
Let me ask once more, this time for Doğukan: Was it “the nature of the job” that killed Mustafa Sarı?