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

The Soma tragedy: Kadere karşı / Against Fate

By William Coker 

Left East - 17 May 2014

My class yesterday began with something close to an apology from me for holding the class at all.  Times like this can make anyone engaged in intellectual work feel inadequate.  To some it seems vain to make statements and take up positions when hundreds have died.  To this I can find no Spilling ink may be impious, but saying nothing is worse.  We have the duty to understand what has happened, even when it might seem more decorous to be silent.
It’s too bad there’s so little to understand this time.  On Tuesday a fire broke out in a mine in Soma, in the district of Manisa in the Aegean region, trapping as many as 700 miners underground.  By Thursday afternoon 282 have been declared dead, with as many as 150 still missing.  The mine belongs to Soma Holding, which acquired it from the state in one of the AKP governments’ many privatizations.  Its executives maintain close ties to Erdoğan’s party, though the government would like the public to forget this; one worker who told the host of a live news program on the privately-owned, pro-government Habertürk television network about the company’s AKP ties found his broadcast very quickly cut off.
On April 29, the parliamentary faction of the main opposition party CHP had requested an inspection of the mine’s safety measures, which the ruling AKP rejected.


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