World Bulletin/News Desk
The ongoing mining tragedy in the central Karaman province is linked with employers’ failure to abide by regulations, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.
Thirty-four miners were trapped underground on Tuesday after a water pipe malfunction caused a flood in the mine. Eighteen remain trapped as rescue operations continue.
Visiting the town of Ermenek where the mine is located, Erdogan said the mine operators failed to comply with a new set of regulations that improve workers’ rights and were introduced after the mining tragedy in Soma, the worst in Turkish history.
“The employers cannot force the employee to have their lunch during shift. If you do that, the state would ask for the employee's right,” Erdogan said. Miners’ working hours in a shift were reduced from eight to six after the disaster in Soma killed 301 miners.
Erdogan cancelled Wednesday's Republic Day reception because of the ongoing rescue efforts.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Davutoglu visited the town. Three Turkish ministers – of energy, labor and transport -- arrived at the mine on Tuesday shortly after the incident.
Turkey ranks first in Europe and third in the world for fatal work accidents, according to International Labor Organization (ILO) figures. The ILO says 18 insured laborers out of 100,000 die every year in Turkey in work accidents, seven times greater than the EU average of 2.5.
Last Mod: 29 Ekim 2014, 23:00