Turkish Press Review

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Thursday’s newspapers have focused on the grief caused by Tuesday's mine explosion, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan's statements over the incident and reflections on the disaster from overseas.

Thursday’s newspapers have focused on the grief caused by Tuesday's mine explosion, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan's statements over the incident and reflections on the disaster from overseas.

ISTANBUL - Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

All Turkish dailies on Thursday covered the outpouring of grief which has followed Tuesday's explosion and fire at a coal mine in Soma, western Turkey. Many newspapers ran their editions with a black masthead, a sign of mourning.

'Mourning' was the word on the daily YENI SAFAK’s front page. The daily reports on the announcement of three days of national mourning and that national flags flew at half-mast in Turkish embassies and consulates across the world.

Daily RADIKAL ran with the headline: '1862 England, 1906 France, 1907 U.S.A., 1960 China, 2014 Turkey,' – a chronology of the world's worst mining disasters. The daily declared the death toll at 274, adding that hope of rescuing the rest of the workers still trapped the mine had faded. It also reported that national mourning for Soma was being symbolized by a black ribbon - now an icon of the disaster. 

VATAN ran the headline 'My light has gone out,' and produced a tribute poem entitled 'Last letter from a miner'.

'They gave their lives,' daily MILLIYET headlined. It reported that after national mourning was announced all planned public events such as the Youth and Sports Day on May 19th were cancelled. The daily added it had started a financial aid campaign for victims of the incident, calling on readers to contribute.

Daily TURKIYE ran with '77 million injured,' – a comment on the Turkish nation's grief. It said that the death toll rose and that the final explanation for the disaster would become clear after an investigation.

Daily SABAH covered Prime Minister Erdogan's statements with the title 'We will not pass by any negligence.' It quoted him saying: "We are suffering heartbreak as a nation. First, we will heal our wounds and mourn."

Daily CUMHURIYET’s front page ran: ‘No more stories: You killed'. It reported that Turkey was full of rage, and that NGOs, political parties and many citizens were reacting to the “massacre”.

The daily also reported on the PM’s visit yesterday to the area, saying Erdogan had to take shelter in a market when he was faced with “intensive” protests against him by the relatives of the coal miners who died and Soma residents. 

 Daily VATAN quoted the prime minister saying that everything necessary would be done to investigate the incident, adding that he said such events were always possible in such a dangerous line of work.

Some dailies dedicated their front pages on the reflections of the disaster from the international audience. 

'Each breath is death,' said the daily HURRIYET which revealed details of the disaster, which occurred 100-2,400 meters underground. It said the fire came out at a transportation road and then coal particles on the mine’s walls caught fire. The amount of carbon monoxide in the air increased and the fire spread to corridors, the daily stated.

It reported that life expectancy under such conditions would be 5-10 minutes, adding that the coal miners could have protection from their masks for a maximum of 45 minutes.

Daily TURKIYE carried a story about a miner who – shortly after being rescued – stunned emotional medical staff when he asked if he could remove his soot-stained work boots to prevent them from dirtying their stretcher.

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