CAFER – Turkey is not a ‘banana republic’

Turkey is not a ‘banana republic’Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoIan likes to make the following remark very frequently: “Turkey is not a banana republic.” However, the disaster in Soma is now telling us that we will test whether Turkey is a banana republic.Turkey is mourning the victims of the mine explosion in Soma. Nearly 300 miners were killed in a coal mine that had allegedly been inspected for any flaws and deficiencies beforehand. Soma has become a graveyard. Turkey is crying for its victims. Initial reports indicate that the disaster was caused by a fire in a transformer. Why did this fire break out in a mining site that Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner YIldIz argues had been checked for compliance with the legislation? Why wasn’t the fire extinguished and taken under control? Why were there no panic rooms or safe areas where the workers could have taken refuge in case of an accident? We do not need to be work safety experts to ask these questions.And there is another question as well: Why did the Justice and Development Party (AKP) reject the motion proposed in Parliament to investigate work accidents through the establishment of a commission of inquiry last month?Nothing will bring the victims back. Will proper answers be offered to these questions based on thorough investigations and comprehensive reports? We will see what happens.The prime minister’s statement on the matter compounded the disaster. This was an irresponsible remark.Citing mine disasters and explosions in the US and Britain in the 19th century, the prime minister said this was an ordinary work accident. He actually said that, in 2014. In today’s world, an administration that pays attention to human life will act responsibly in such extreme tragedies, which are no different from massacres. For instance, the relevant ministers will not stay in their positions. And those who are responsible will be prosecuted properly.The head of our government, on the other hand, actually says this was a regular or ordinary work accident, and in an attempt to convince us, he cites examples and cases from 19th-century Britain.But his aisors, who told him to cite these cases, failed to remind him of a recent ferry accident last month in Korea, where Korean Prime Minister Ching Hong-won resigned, noting that we was unable to sleep because of the 188 people that died in the accident.If Turkey is not a banana republic, we should not consider the tragedy in Soma to be fate.If Turkey is not a banana republic, we will not forget the tragedy and disaster.If Turkey is not a banana republic, Turkish people should ask for the proper prosecution of those who are responsible.If Turkey is not a banana republic, we will not consider the massacre in Soma to be an ordinary work accident and we will not continue our normal lives.Turkey is not a banana republic, and human life should not be worthless in Turkey. We need to prove this to ourselves and to our administrators. I offer my deepest condolences to the Turkish people.

SOURCE: Today Zaman

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