Society, Politics, and Economy in Modern Turkey: Sociology of Turkey - Maintained by Tugrul Keskin
We are at a point in our work when we can no longer ignore empires and the imperial context in our studies. (p. 5)
― Edward W. Said, Culture and Imperialism

Sunday, May 18, 2014

On Erdogan’s ‘Ordinary Things’: The Soma Massacre, the Spine Tower, and the Corporate-State’s Fitrat in Turkey

By Emrah Yildiz 

Jadaliyya - May 18 2014

On 14 May, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reached Soma, the site of the coal mine explosion that has so far killed 321 people—an already horrific number feared to surpass 350. In his first public appearance, twenty-four hours after the explosion, he seemed sultanically informed about the dates of previous coal mine explosions and their resultant deaths, not only in contemporary Turkey, but also across time and space. After having thanked the media “workers” for their “responsible” coverage of the calamity or catastrophe (facia in Turkish) as an unfortunate yet ordinary “work accident,” Erdoğan was ready to present some facts on the ground for all. Beginning with a warning against “marginal groups who are trying to make use of this accident” for their political ends, Erdoğan lectured on:
I want to share with you some numbers to put things in perspective here. Between 1942 and the end of 2010, friends, our total number of deaths in this type of accidents is around 900. 42, 47, 55, 83, 87, 90, 95, 2010. Among these the methane gas explosion experienced in Kozlu in 1992 has been recorded as the biggest accident that cost 263 workers their lives. This is what it is with coal…Let us remember the past in England: in 1866, 362 people were reported dead. Another explosion in England in 1894, 290. Let me move to France: 1906, the second deadliest mine accident ever recorded. Let me move to more recent periods: Japan in 1914, 687. China, in 1960 gas explosion in the mine, 684. And from Japan, again coal explosion again in 1963, 458. India, 375. In 1975, gas catches fire again, and the roof of the mine collapses and 372. At this point these kinds of accidents are ordinary and recurrent things in these mines…Take a look at America, with its technology and all, in 1907 361 people…These are recurrent and ordinary things. In literature they are referred to as work accidents.
Read more....

No comments:

Post a Comment