Turkey parliament commission debates mining tragedy

Photo: Turkey parliament commission debates mining tragedy / Turkey

The parliament's planning and budget commission discussed security issues in Turkish mines on Tuesday, following the Soma disaster which claimed 301 lives, Anadolu Agency reported.

Development Minister Cevdet Yilmaz stressed that spending on work safety could serve as investments in the country's future.

"There is [...] a need for change in mentality and culture, he added. Human life comes first."

Deputy Rahmi Askin Tureli from the main opposition Republican People's Party urged for initiatives to bring Turkey's mining conditions up to international standards. He also demanded that those responsible for the death of 301 miners in Soma be identified.

Sumer Oral from the Nationalist Movement Party chose to focus on the victims' families, saying they should be provided with aid immediately.

The commission head Recai Berber from the ruling Justice and Development Party said that the Ministry of Family and Social Affairs had already provided financial aid to 286 families and that aid would continue.

Rescue operations in the mine in Soma in the western province of Manisa ended on Saturday after the bodies of the last two miners trapped underground were found, bringing the total of number of fatalities to 301.

The disaster marks the deadliest mining incident in Turkey's history with 301 victims as it surpasses the death toll of a firedamp explosion that killed 263 miners in Zonguldak in 1992.

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