Soma families mark Miners Day with sorrow

Soma families mark Miners Day with sorrow

MANİSA-Demirören News Agency
Soma families mark Miners Day with sorrow

Miners Day on Dec. 4 was marked with sorrow in Soma district of the western Manisa province, where 301 miners were killed in the country’s deadliest ever mine accident in 2014.

“As long as the extractive industry exists, there will be more deaths unless employers assume their responsibilities [regarding safety]. The employers and the authorities are to blame for these incidents,” said İsmail Çolak, head of the Soma 301 Social Solidarity Association.

The retired miner, whose 27-year-old son was among the deceased workers, said that sorrow lingers for those who lost their spouses, children or fathers on May 13, 2014.

“The only thing that has changed is the economic aspect. Salaries have been improved, and the week holiday has been extended to two days. That’s all,” said Çolak, complaining that the new legislation and regulations imposed after the terrible incident are not implemented effectively.

“It is hard for us to mark this day, because, everyone can imagine how painful it is to remember such a disaster. This kind of day shouldn’t be celebrated because the pain is refreshed for the families. We want to the dates of May 13 and December 4 to be removed from calendars,” he added.

The Day of Saint Barbara, the patron saint of miners and artillerymen in Christianity, is marked as Miners Day in some countries including Turkey.