Opposition leader Bahçeli urges calm in Soma

Opposition leader Bahçeli urges calm in Soma

Opposition leader Bahçeli urges calm in Soma

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Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli urged top officials on May 15 to act with sensitivity while visiting Soma, site of Turkey’s worst-ever mining disaster, while also demanding that the accident be thoroughly investigated.

The MHP leader also invited locals to act with calm amid their grief.

Bahçeli, speaking to reporters in Soma, drew attention to the fact that whenever top officials visit such places to extend their condolences, they result in disorganization and a lack of coordination of services since local administrators are occupied with welcoming and hosting the officials.

The opposition leader’s remarks came a day after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited the town, during which one of his aides kicked a protester on the ground, while the prime minister himself was alleged to have punched a woman in a supermarket three or four times after she shouted, “What is the murderer of my father doing here?”

“Whoever comes here shall be calm and, while sharing the grief of society, shall keep their distance from the tumultuousness which would bring new grief to society,” Bahçeli said.

“I believe that there is use in waiting and supporting measures that have been taken in order to healthily and effectively conduct rescue and search operations and to reach our siblings who have been trapped inside [the coal mine],” Bahçeli said.

The MHP leader urged families of those workers trapped inside to be patient. “This grief belongs to all of us. God bless everybody, but we will overcome this too, Inshallah,” Bahçeli said.

Bahçeli and his accompanying delegation were set to visit the coal mine later in the day. He underlined that he would go there without having a police escort and without having a crowd around the delegation.

“It is necessary to take as a basis the information which will be given by state officials who are responsible for crisis management. It is not right to make … comments before that,” he said.

Bahçeli praised efforts by the government, while particularly underlining his appreciation for Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yıldız for conducting crisis management on the ground from the very beginning.