Erdogan faces outrage in Turkiye after blaming ‘fate’ for Amasra mine explosion

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan faced the ire of the public when he blamed “fate” for an explosion at a state-owned mine in Amasra. The fire resulted in the death of 41 individuals and several miners were trapped underground for hours as rescue teams worked to control the situation. 

“The administrative and judicial investigation will reveal what caused the blast and who, if anyone, is responsible,” Erdogan said while answering questions from journalists outside the mine. 

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“It is of course unforgivable for us that accidents with significant death tolls continue to take place at our mines. We don’t want to see any deficiencies or unnecessary risks at our mines,” he added. 

Amasra – situated on the northern coast of the Black Sea – is a hot spot for such incidents and on Saturday, a build-up of flammable gases in the mine ultimately resulted in an explosion. 

The authorities were deployed to bring the situation under control and even Erdogan rushed to the spot to take note of the situation along with a three-man investigation team. However, the suggestion from the president that the incident was a result of “fate” did not go down with the people of Turkiye. 

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The comment was criticised by opposition leaders who asked for better steps from the government to ensure the miners’ safety and local union leaders who also spoke about “negligence in the industry”. 

This is not the first time when Erdogan was criticised for his response to a disaster. Back in 2014, the town of Soma saw 301 people lose their lives due to mining disasters, but Erdogan went on to say that “these things happen”. 

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