The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) have voted down a motion calling for the parliament to look into last week’s explosion at a fireworks factory in the northwestern province of Sakarya.
The motion was submitted by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), daily Birgün said on July 8.
During a parliamentary speech, CHP group deputy chair Engin Özkoç recalled Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu’s remarks that the factory was inspected three months ago and called on the government “to arrest state inspectors” responsible for their failure in their duty of oversight.
The blast in factory on July 3 killed seven people and injured more than a hundred people.
The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) deemed the explosion a “workplace homicide,” a term used to describe accidents caused by gross neglect. The TTB noted that the blast had been preceded by six other accidents in the same factory over the past 11 years.
Özkoç said that if accidents keep happening at the same factory over and over again despite the regulations, then the cause of this situation needs to be enlightened.
“If the same factory owner is blowing up the factory for the seventh time in a row, leading to the death of our people again and again, despite the existence of the regulations and the reports that ‘inspections have been undertaken,’ then something is failing. We need to address them all together, protect the victimized and punish those who have caused this,” Özkoç said.
The CHP’s parliamentary motion calling for a detailed investigation into the incident was rejected by the votes of the AKP and MHP deputies.
The factory is co-owned by Yaşar Coşkun, who is the head of the Sakarya branch of Independent Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association (MÜSİAD), and his father Ali Rıza Coşkun.
MÜSİAD is known to have close ties to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling AKP.
Yaşar Coşkun was arrested early on July 8 on charges of involuntary manslaughter and causing injury, while his father Ali Rıza Coşkun was released pending trial.
MÜSİAD organized a dinner a day after the deadly blast to offer the association’s support for Yaşar Coşkun. The dinner caused a widespread criticism, with main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) saying: “You’re [MÜSİAD] feeding on human flesh.”
Kılıçdaroğlu also said that factory owner was the first person that Erdoğan called after the deadly blast.