Why does Turkey rank first in labor accidents in Europe, CHP leader asks PM
Şükrü Küçükşahin ANKARA / Hürriyet
Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu visits the Soma coal mine on May 14. AA PhotoMain opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan must answer why Turkey ranks first in occupational accidents in Europe and has the most deaths in coal mine accidents compared to European countries.
Kılıçdaroğlu slammed Erdoğan during his visit to the Soma district of the Aegean province of Manisa, which was hit by a coal mine disaster.
“The prime minister first of all has to think about the reasons why Turkey ranked first in Europe and third in the world in terms of the numbers of occupational accidents. Don’t all of these countries have such a ‘nature’ as well,” he said, in a clear reference to Erdoğan’s first statements in the disaster hit Soma on May 14, when he said that fatal accidents are “in the nature of this profession.”
“In European countries, there are coal mines too, but they do not have fatalities [like Turkey has], why?” Kılıçdaroğlu asked.
One day after an explosion and fire at a coal mine in Soma that has killed at least 284 people, Erdoğan said work accidents take place in every field of labor including coal mines, so nobody should be surprised when these accidents happen.
“These accidents are things that are always happening. Please, we should not interpret what happened in these coal mines as impossible. These are usual things. There is something called ‘work accidents’ in the literature. This does not only happen in mines, but in other workplaces too,” said Erdoğan on May 14 after his visit to the disaster-zone.
The CHP leader also criticized Energy Minister Taner Yıldız for his positive remarks about the company operating the mine in Soma where many workers are still trapped under the two kilometers of earth.
Kılıçdaroğlu warned that the minister’s positive remarks about the mine company might raise doubts that the experts would be under pressure and their reports about the firm might be affected by these remarks.
He also said uncertainty was prevailing at Soma as there are still no answers from the authorities as to how this incident took place and how many people are still trapped inside the mine.
“The miners who enter the mine use a card. The exact number of miners inside the mine should be clear. Now, it is not known whether how many people are inside. This is why people are claiming that uninsured and underage workers are working in the mine,” Kılıçdaroğlu told reporters while sharing his impressions after visiting Soma.