Turkey Coal-Mine Disaster Clashes Kill Second Person in Istanbul

A second person died today of injuries received as protesters clashed with Turkish police over last week’s deadly mine fire.

The person was wounded in an explosion late yesterday in Istanbul’s Okmeydani district as demonstrators denounced the deaths of 301 miners in the blaze, Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu said. A man was shot dead during battles in the city, while nine people, including eight policemen, were injured, he said.

Stone-throwing protesters clashed with riot police for a second day today, Hurriyet newspaperreported. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to retaliate against protesters who he said were using the mine disaster in the western town of Soma as a pretext to stir chaos.

“We’re not the source of any tension in Turkey,” Erdogan said in televised remarks today, accusing protesters of “terrorizing” streets in Okmeydani and trying to provoke protests as he prepares to visit Cologne tomorrow. “We won’t stay silent against merchants of blood.”

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, head of the main opposition party CHP, accused Erdogan of “polarizing the public.”

“I am concerned over the future of Turkey,” said Kilicdaroglu. “I am not only saying this, the world is also seeing that Turkey is being run by a dictator.”

Erdogan promised to introduce advanced mining technologies, while saying that it was not possible to fully eliminate the risk of accidents in the mining industry. He said the mine in Soma may remain shut for two to three months before new safety measures are implemented.

To contact the reporter on this story: Selcan Hacaoglu in Ankara at shacaoglu@bloomberg.net



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