While 110 workers were working in Amasra (a small town in north West Turkey) coal mine on 14 October, a firedamp explosion occurred. The mine was state-owned by the Turkish Hard Coal Institution (TKK).
By Nihan Drama
Workers were working at depths between 300 m to 350 m. 58 workers were trapped inside after the blast caused the fire to reach the access to the mine. Rescue efforts started for the miners who could not get out. As hours passed, the rescue efforts that lasted throughout the night caused hopes to fade. The cries of their families resounded in the area each time a body came out from mine. At 08:00 am it was announced that 41 of our mine-worker friends lost their lives and the rescue efforts were halted. Mining workers, most of whom were between the ages of 22 and 25, died due to bad working conditions.
Fake Tears of Boss Parties
From the moment the explosion took place, representatives of different bourgeois parties came to the region. They began to give interviews with tears in their eyes. In the following hours, the opposition party CHP (People’s Republican Party) published a message of condolence for the “mining martyrs” on its official social media account. From the government, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and many ministers visited the region. Erdogan said that “We are people who believe in the plan of destiny.” But he had to face a relative of a slain worker: “My brother said there was a gas leak 10 days ago, that will kill us here.”
But these bourgeois parties didn’t pay attention to the warnings. In 2019, the government controllers warned that the balanced production depth at this mine had reached 300 m, which could lead to firedamp explosions. Just one month before the massacre, the Minister of Energy Resources visited TTK Amasra mine and photos were shared showing how great a contribution was made to the economy.
When we look at 2017, the report of the Court of Accounts stated that the Amasra mining enterprise had occupational safety equipment that was not sufficient and the ventilation system did not work in reverse, and the enterprise was fined 146 thousand TL due to the deficiencies.
Our dead miner friends are not martyrs! There was no death in the fate of our dead miner friends! The killers of the working class are the bosses and their lackeys, the parties of order!
It’s Not our Fate to be Murdered at Work
Mining is one of the sectors with the highest exploitation conditions in the capitalist system. Many times in Turkey, workers have been massacred due to mining blasts. In 2014, 301 of our brothers were killed due to a fire in the mine in Soma. When the massacre was brought to the Judiciary, the Soma bosses were sentenced to hundreds of years in prison due to “probable cause”. Later, they turned the crime into “conscious negligence” and the boss Can Gürkan was released. The capitalist order protects each other!
So, who will protect the working class? In 1992, 263 mine workers lost their lives due to a firedamp explosion in Kozlu. In 2014, a coal mine in Ermenek was flooded and 18 miners lost their lives. In 1983, 103 workers in Armutçuk, in 1990, 68 workers in Amasya, in 1995 38 workers in Sorgun, in 2004, 19 workers in Küre, in 2009, 19 workers in Mustafa Kemal Pasha, in 2010, 17 workers in Dursunbey, in 2010, 30 workers in Zonguldak, in 2016, 16 workers in Şırnak were all dead for capitalists higher profits.
Our Unity is the Only Solution
What the bosses fear most is the working class with class consciousness coming together. The poor ask, “Why do we always die?” When he begins to ask this question, capitalist parties and government, which are apparently in opposition to each other, begin to spread the tale of “We are in the same boat.” The frightened capitalist parties, one after another, make statements on “the martyrs, or the fate,” warning people that there is a greater power other than themselves and that they must be strengthened. Their goal is to prevent the unification of our anger.
The workers who are exploited, humiliated and murdered every day have neither fortitude nor patience left! If there is a murderer, what needs to be done is not to calm down, but to fight the system that protects the murderers. The bloodsuckers of the capitalist order, who drives the Turkish people to despair and accept these massacres, are attacking more ruthlessly every year. While enslaved people may seem hopeless, anger runs deeply in the underground. Because the organized strength of the working people is always greater than that of the capitalist class.