TODAY’S – Ombudsman calls for resignations over Soma disaster

Ombudsman calls for resignations over Soma disasterThe Public Monitoring Institution (KDK) has issued a report calling for the resignation of high-ranking bureaucrats over a disaster that killed 301 people in a mine in Soma this May.andldquoThe Soma mine accident, more than a function of government failure, was one of administrative failure, and the responsibility of the relevant high-level bureaucrats is unquestionable.

In light of this disaster, bureaucrats should be expected to show the requisite democratic attitude, which comes before politics,andrdquo said the report.Having gone down as the worst workplace accident in the history of the Turkish Republic, an explosion at a mine in Turkeyand#39s Manisa province resulted in the deaths of 301 miners.

Public grieving over the tragedy was followed by public outrage when the government, the relevant ministries and the company operating the mine all refused to accept responsibility. There were calls for Labor and Social Security Minister Faruk elik as well as Energy Minister Taner YIldIz to resign, but neither minister stepped down from their respective posts.

Then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoIan adopted a rather insensitive attitude toward the tragedy, likening what happened to similar disasters that took place in 19th century Britain, saying that such accidents are par for the course. ErdoIanand#39s aisor, Yusuf Yerkel, was photographed kicking a demonstrator after protests broke out in Soma following the disasterandldquoA culture of resignation still does not exist in Turkey.

This is something we are missing, and this culture needs to be created,andrdquo said the KDKand#39s Mehmet ElkatmII, speaking at a press conference in Ankara on Tuesday.The report added that families of the miners who died in the Soma disaster as well as those who died in a more recent accident at a mine in Ermenek should receive social assistance in a more just and equitable manner ElkatmII noted that some children of the deceased miners had received several bicycles, prompting neighboring children who did not receive bicycles to lament, andldquoif only my father had died too.

andrdquoElkatmII said that social assistance needs to be distributed more conscientiously.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman