[Marxism] The Soma tragedy: Kadere karşı / Against Fate | LeftEast

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat May 17 06:35:36 MDT 2014

The twelve years of AKP rule in Turkey have set records for both 
privatizations and work accidents.  Work accident fatalities in Turkey 
in 2002 numbered 872, and in 2013, 1235. The mining sector, which has 
been largely privatized since 2002, has seen a comparable rise in 
casualties, along with an apparent decline in already weak safety 
standards; on this score, Soma Holding owner Alp Gürkan’s boast to have 
reduced operative costs by about 80%, “thanks to the operating methods 
of the private sector,” now looks especially suspect.[5] Union officials 
largely ascribe the rise in fatalities to privatization, which has also 
brought a sharp drop in wages.  Kani Beko, chairman of the Revolutionary 
Confederation of Workers’ Unions’ (DISK), one of Turkey’s largest labor 
organizations, calculated that deaths in the mines had increased 40% in 
the first nine years since privatization began, the same year that the 
AKP gained power.  In the same period, he stated, the wage of miners in 
privatized mines had seen a 30% decline.[6]


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