AMANDA – The government is not a victim

The government is not a victimOver 300 miners have died in the Soma tragedy, making it the single largest industrial work accident in Turkey’s history. Unfortunately, the reaction of the government, and in particular Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoIan, has been to pretty much refuse to take any responsibility, but rather try to paint themselves as victims, which has shocked the world.

The government does not want to take any responsibility for what has happened despite the following facts: It refused to sign an International Labor Organization (ILO) document on mining safety it was the Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmakers that blocked the opening of a parliamentary investigation, initiated by the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), into Soma mines just two weeks before the tragedy and it was Minister of Energy Taner YIldiz, who shockingly had previously praised the safety measures taken by the company at SomaFurthermore, this incident shows that the government failed to address the very serious flaws in Turkey’s mining landscape that were exposed with the 2010 Zonguldak mining disaster when 30 people in the Karadon coal mine were killed following an explosion. After the Balikesir accident, the president of the Turkey Revolutionary Mine Search and Processing Workers Trade Union said that there were problems in multiple areas including: a lack of air ventilation, a deficient early warning system and a lack of mine auditing.

Some experts suggested Turkey use the US Bureau of Mines standards as an example of measures that could be taken to reduce coal mine accidents. It seems this aice was ignored.

Over the past week, a lot of shocking steps have taken place. ErdoIan’s aisor, Yusuf Yerkel, photographed kicking a demonstrating mourner who had just been thrown to the ground by ErdoIan’s security forces, was not reprimanded for this totally unacceptable action.

Rather, Yerkel obtained a medical report allowing him to miss work due to injuries sustained to the leg that he used to kick the mourner in Soma The young miner, Taner Kuruca, whom Erdogan slapped has now changed his statement four times in three days. Mourning protestors were injured by a heavy-handed policy of using water cannons and tear gas.

And ErdoIan cited the high risk of death was “in the nature of” mining — that it is destiny.Unfortunately, the government has also dealt with the issue in its now habitual, polarizing “us” and “them” style.

The large chunk of the press and television media that is now under the control of the government has attacked those that have criticized the government, demonstrated in the streets and even the victims of the disaster Rather than facing up to the truth, it seems the authorities are trying to carry out a big cover-up operation and portray themselves as victims of a campaign by enemies using the tragedy as a tool to undermine the government.It is now a familiar policy of ErdoIan to blame his critics.

He did it during Gezi Park, which was blamed on “foreign forces,” he did it again following the Dec. 17 corruption scandal blaming domestic and foreign enemies, claiming a parallel state under the leadership of Islamic scholar, and Fethullah Gulen is on a mission to oust him from power Now he is at it again stating, “No one should fall into the trap of being a tool of those who are trying to abuse Soma for use against the government.

”The government and the prime minister are not victims. They are guilty and need to take responsibility.

After all, it is the AKP that is governing Turkey, and this makes them accountable. They chose to ignore the perilous safety situation in Turkey’s mines and therefore the buck stops with them The government should be more transparent and the responsible people must be brought to justice, including those at the very top of the pyramid.

Hence the ongoing investigation is insufficient. Firstly, because despite the culpability of the mine operators involved in the tragedy, they are only one element in the chain of responsibility and all the blame cannot be laid at their feet.

And secondly, because the picture is much bigger and requires a full independent and impartial investigation — with the inclusion of external experts and civil society — into the issue. Too many people have lost their lives.

Such a tragedy must never be allowed to happen again.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman

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