Two AKP members ask mining companies to send miners to rally in disaster-struck Soma: MHP deputy
MANİSA – Doğan News Agency
DHA PhotoTwo members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) from Turkey’s mining disaster-struck Aegean province of Manisa have told mine owners, who work with a royalty system, to bring miners to the AKP election rally in Manisa on May 24, according to a Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy.
MHP Manisa deputy Erkan Akçay claimed in a written statement that an AKP deputy candidate from Manisa and the AKP’s district head of Soma, where 301 workers died in an accident on May 13, 2014, had paid a visit to local mining companies on May 20 and asked them to send their miners to the AKP rally.
Akçay said this was not the first incident and the two AKP members had threatened miners to vote for their party and told them they would be unemployed if the AKP did not win.
Turkey’s biggest-ever mining and workplace accident killed 301 miners in the Soma district of Manisa, which is famous for its coal mines.
Akçay said the perpetrators of the Soma mining disaster were free and the labor and energy ministers and the civil servants from these ministries were being kept away from the judicial process.
“While the promises that were pledged to Soma have not been realized, the miners are wanted [by the AKP] to be forced to go to the rally on Sunday. But our workers do not want to go to the rally. Our workers are being threatened with work and food,” said Akçay.
A total of 45 suspects are currently on trial over the tragedy, with eight former managers from the Soma Coal Mine Company that ran the mine accused of “killing with probable criminal intent.”
The trial into the accident started on April 13, during which the suspects in the case denied responsibility for the accident, which precipitated anger among the families of the 301 victims.