Following the accident at the Soma mine in Turkey, Rebecca Harms, Co-President of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, and Hélène Flautre MEP, Greens/EFA Chair of the European Parliament Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, said:
“It is with great sadness that we have learnt of the death of 232 miners, according to the latest figures. We offer our condolences to the families of the victims and our thoughts are with those still trapped in the mine. The most urgent task now is to organise aid in the best conditions possible and we hope that as many lives as possible can be saved.
“The mine was recently the subject of a debate in the Turkish Parliament. There have been numerous warnings about the mine’s potential safety hazards and lack of safety checks ever since it was privatised. The accident investigation report should detail the responsibilities for this terrible accident. It should also look into whether the weakening of the trade union and rampant pursuit of profit have worsened working conditions and put miners at greater risk. Victims’ families should be adequately compensated.
The recurrent safety and environmental problems in Turkey’s mining and energy sector require urgent action through legislation in line with European standards and strict controls. Such tragedies are not inevitable and cannot be allowed to happen again.”