The words of the title were told after coal mine disaster a year ago, 13 May 2014 Soma, Manisa, Turkey. These belonged to miner Murat Yalcin, who survived from tragedy that 301 coal miners died tragically:
“Do I take off my boots?”
Later an interview, Yalçın was asked that why he said this. His answer was very significant.
“After me, my friends will have to be removed from the mine. And I do not want to be moved of them with a dirty stretcher. ”
Unfortunately, it has not been as he wishes. 485 workers were rescued, 301 workers and 1 mining engineer lost their life.
What happened after this incident was a tragedy. The families of the 301 miners who haven’t proper safety and healthy working conditions, could not get months salaries. Currently, the monthly salary which was given by AKP government to these families is 100 euros (!) AKP government did not keep any of the promises. It has put a ban on the press and obstructed those who bring this issue to the agenda with all kinds of obstacles. Even, one of advisers of Recep Tayyip Erdogan who is president of republic today, kicked to a young man who was protest to Erdogan. That day at Soma, Recep Tayyip Erdogan had encountered a flood of anger which he never waited.
Then the words which R.T. Erdogan said that reveals how is desperate the situation in Turkey:
“This way of death, there is into the fate of this work.”(!)
The answer to him was given by Soma mine worker, Engin Dagli:
“I wasn’t there when prime minister came. Also, I moved away when I heard that he came. I do not want to see even his face. However, he said
“This way of death, there is into the fate of this work.”. I want to ask him: Is it fate, if a man jumps out from the top of a ten-story building? Top it all off, R.T. Erdogan is giving an examples from mine accidents from France or China.
And another question:
Soma Construction Company which is the original owner of the mine, is especially protected. What is the reason?
Dagli: There is only one reason. Melike Dogru, who is wife of administrative manager of the mine and also the general manager, in the March 30 elections, she was nominated a member of the AKP provincial council. At the same time the company is the company that AKP distributes coal. (AKP government, before every election, distributes coal to poor people and collects votes).
To cultivate business in mine, over-production was done; lest stop production, shift changes were made gradually and there was no job security. Even, the owner of the mine had said unashamedly:
“We produce at tons of coal 23.8 dollars, while Turkey Coal Enterprises produces at tons of coal 130-140 dollars.”
So workers were running excessive. Shift system functioned unhealthy. There was no job security. And all the money they were receiving a monthly salary of 450 euros to 750 euros.
The security video recordings about what happened on that day, emerged in April 2015.
From the beginning first minutes of the video, there is the security cameras images of the day. From the second minute, and now disaster had been; the other miners and even their wives began to come to mine, to get news or to recover. While workers go out on the one hand, rescuers enter to inside on the other hand. In 3 minutes a worker gives an effort to explain of the status to outsiders. From 4th minutes the bodies of the miners begin to take out. From 5:20 minutes the anger and the rebellion of the miners is seen.
After 8 months after the disaster, the Republic of Turkey prosecutors could not prepare for a indictment about Alp Gurkan who is mine owner. And this man was not arrested. Already, according to mine owner, the responsibility of disaster belongs to mining engineer, who died in mine or those who make conspiracy. Thereupon, the relatives of the miners, collectively, they sued for damage and now it is heard in those days. It is still continuing.
For this case, which turned into a scandal, the workers’ relatives are experiencing the same pain almost every month in courtrooms.
The cries of the workers’ relatives outgrow the court hall. Here is, some of their words:
“I rather than the death of my husband, I’m sorry the poverty that he lived.”
“My husband never had a new shoe. Because, he always wore boots.”
“Our children always use black color in the paintings that they make at school.”
“After my husband died, the state gave 100 euros monthly salary. Is this my husband’s value?”
You can say poverty or despair for all happening. But it is the same name in all the world’s languages: Wild capitalism. The oppression of the working class has not been a realistic pain as today’s. The workers have no name in the new world order. Workers are used as slave.
The quotes and sources: