Ruling AKP submits motion to probe Soma disaster

Ruling AKP submits motion to probe Soma disaster

Ruling AKP submits motion to probe Soma disaster

Relatives of a miner mourn beside his grave after a mining disaster in Soma, a district in Turkey's western province of Manisa, May 16. REUTERS Photo / Osman ORSAL

The government has submitted a motion to Parliament for the investigation of the tragic mine accident that killed at least 284 workers, nearly three weeks after it rejected the Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) proposal for a probe into work-related accidents at coal mines in Soma.  

The motion, introduced by AKP Aksaray deputy Ali Rıza Alaboyun and 38 party members, stressed that Turkey had witnessed one of its gravest mine accidents on May 13, which required a detailed study.

“Shedding light on and investigating all aspects of this tragic accident are of great significance. We are of the opinion that Parliament has a big role in the investigation of this issue,” Alaboyun said in his petition to the office of the Parliament Speaker.

Describing mining as the most risky sector with regard to labor safety, he added that “risks could not be fully minimized despite technological improvements.”

The AKP’s move came just three days after the Soma disaster and three weeks after the CHP’s move in a similar direction. At the time, the ruling party had voted against the move and accused the social democrat party of trying to hijack Parliament’s agenda.

“We demand an investigation into all the mine accidents in Soma to reveal the causes and those responsible for the deaths in those accidents, to find permanent solutions to preventing a repeat of these cases, and to measure the sufficiency of the law enforcement and auditing of these institutions,” said the motion submitted by the CHP.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his party spokesperson Hüseyin Çelik claimed the CHP’s motion was not aiming to launch a genuine investigation and instead “sought to divert the agenda.”