Turkish PM to announce changes to labor safety laws

Turkish PM to announce changes to labor safety laws

ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
Turkish PM to announce changes to labor safety laws

AA Photo

Amendments to labor safety laws and mining are set to be announced by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu on Nov. 12, following a recent wave of mine disasters across Turkey.

On Oct. 28, the flooding of a coal mine trapped 18 workers in the Ermenek district of the Central Anatolian province of Karaman, about 400 kilometers south of Ankara.

Search and rescue teams found the dead bodies of two of the miners on Nov. 13.

Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç told reporters Nov. 10, following a Cabinet meeting in Ankara, that the energy and labor ministers had made presentations to the Cabinet on the latest efforts regarding workers’ safety and Turkey’s mining sector. Energy Minister Taner Yıldız, Labor, Social Security Minister Faruk Çelik and Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications Minister Lütfi Elvan had been at the Ermenek mine site to monitor efforts to reach the trapped miners before the Nov. 10 meeting.

“Our prime minister will make public all the issues on Çelik and Yıldız’s agenda in an extensive announcement on Wednesday [Nov. 12],” Arınç said.

Eight people were detained as part of the investigation into the Ermenek mine disaster, including executives, the owner and engineers of the mine. Rescue efforts were “becoming progressively harder” in the deeper areas of the mine, Yıldız said Nov. 7.

The incident in Karaman came less than six months after an explosion at a coal mine in the Soma district of the western Manisa province, which led to the deaths of 301 miners in the worst industrial disaster in Turkey’s history.