Police arrest protesters during a demonstration in Ankara over the deaths of coal miners

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Ankara police intervened in a protest against the deaths of 41 coal miners in northern Turkey on Monday, taking several people into custody, Turkish opposition channel Halk TV reported.

An explosion at a state-owned coal mine in Bartın province on Friday killed 41 workers and injured nearly a dozen others, the country’s worst mining disaster in years.

Police tried to disperse protesters gathered in the capital for the demonstration organized by the Forces of Labor and Democracy (Emek ve Demokrasi Güçleri) as they sought to read a press release, Halk TV said, using force and arresting a number of people.

Friday’s coal mine explosion in the northern Black Sea town of Amasra sparked outrage across the country as opposition politicians and trade unionists question the will of the government to improve security.

The blast, which officials say was caused by burning gas inside the mine, sparked anger across the country.

The Turkish government had pledged to increase the safety of workers in the coal mining industry following the country’s worst mining disaster in 2014, which killed 301 people in the western town of Soma, in Manisa province. .

Local union leaders say Friday’s explosion was another accident caused by a widespread pattern of industry negligence.

“If you send miners hundreds of meters underground without taking the necessary precautions, inspecting and creating safe conditions, you cannot call it an accident,” said the head of the Union of Chambers of Engineers. and Turkish architects, Emin Koromaz on Twitter. “It’s downright murder.”

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