Turkish police attacked the families of the victims of Soma mine massacre for staging a protest and attempting to make a public declaration in front of the Council of Judges and Prosecutors building in Ankara on July 16.
On July 13, families of the victimized miners started a protest march from in front of a miner statue in the western city Soma with the slogan of ‘justice’, en route to the capital city of Ankara through several provinces around the country.
Their march aimed to protest the unfair court decisions regarding the occupational murder of 301 coal mine workers in May 2014. The court had sentenced on Wednesday some mining employees to shorter jail terms as some others could be released in a close future.
The relatives of the murdered miners faced a police violence as their protest march ended up at the building of Turkish Council of Judges and Prosecutors.
As the miners’ families gathered today to publicly criticize the justice system, the police immediately intervened and dispersed the crowd, forcing them to a police bus. “It is the children of the poor that join the army service, the children of the poor children that enter the mines! All of them are oppressed and the poor. What a shame,” the mother of a murdered miner yelled against the police barricade.
Speaking on behalf of miners’ families, Gülsüm Çolak previously said that they had been seeking for justice for their children for the past 50 months, adding that the term 'justice' had become a vain word at Turkey’s courtrooms. "We will dig up the justice buried in the ground," she stated when they started their protest march on Friday.
On May 13, 2014, Turkey had witnessed one of the worst occupational mass murders in its history. More than 700 miners had been trapped in one of the pits of the Soma mine, which had been a private lignite mine in country's western province of Manisa. More than 160 other people came out of the mine with injuries while 301 workers were killed brutally.
The Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) issued a statement following the recent court decisions, condemning the then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and former energy and labour ministers as being the primary responsible for the Soma massacre.