GuNAY HILAL – Mine tragedy further exposes polarized state of society

Mine tragedy further exposes polarized state of societyThe May 13 mine disaster that claimed 301 lives in Soma and sparked public outrage has further exposed the current state of polarization in the country. After just the first media reports on the tragedy broke, this polarization was immediately made apparent through comments from social media users.

One group was trying to downplay the incident and reduce it to a matter of “fate,” while others were demanding an official statement be made on how many miners had been killed and how exactly the accident had occurred. Pro-government commentators accused those making demands of “hoping for a rise in the death toll,” which came as a shock to many.

After the size of the accident was revealed, the pro-government media chose different tactic to protect the Justice and Development Party (AK Party). According to these media outlets, Soma Holding, which operates the mine, was the only guilty party in the incident.

They say there is no worth in speaking about the failure of the government in terms of inspections, granting licenses and adopting necessary regulations on mine safety. Some columnists have even claimed that people were trying to use the Soma disaster to topple the government.

Hurriyet daily columnist Ahmet Hakan wrote a piece on Tuesday titled, “A call to not take sides.” According to Hakan, people feel obligated to choose one of two sides.

He said: “One of the sides is hoping that the Soma incident will trigger events that could to overthrow the government and the other side hopes that the deaths do not damage the government. One side wants the death toll to be higher, the other side wants to minimize [the severity of it].

One side sees this tragedy as an opportunity to achieve political success, the other side is only working to make sure the tragedy does not affect its votes. One side hopes the workers’ deaths raise hate against ErdoIan and the other side works so that people’s love for ErdoIan does not decrease, despite the deaths.

Both sides are loveless, cruel, opportunist and intolerant.” Hakan said that both sides are focused on the political opportunities that could be gained by mine workers’ deaths in Soma He also said that both sides will just forget about mine safety concerns and these deaths in a few weeks.

“Let’s spoil this game. Let’s reject belonging to any of these sides.

Let’s only stand on the side of the dead miners,” Hakan said.Ahmet Insel, a columnist with the Radikal daily, pointed out on Tuesday that polarization in the country has become very obvious lately.

According to Insel, the fact that the AK Party has garnered a majority of the vote for years amongst blue collar workers and low-income earners is because of a cultural battle between societal classes. “Yet,” he says, “the AK Party manages to be a party that represents the wealthy class it’s a party of the capital holder groups.

” The columnist added that ErdoIan’s remarks saying labor accidents are in the nature of production processes aims to normalize such accidents, and that such remarks represent the basic ideology of capital holders.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman

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