Cihan Başakçıoğlu - Osman Çaklı / DUVAR
Workers who have been on a protest march since Oct. 12 to obtain unpaid damages for the 2014 Soma mining disaster concluded their demonstration on Nov. 17 after a meeting with Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, who reassured them of a resolution by Jan. 15.
"Soylu said 'I will resolve this issue starting tomorrow. Give me until the 15th of January. I promise, we will come up with a solution before then,'" said the miners in a statement to the press following the meeting.
Interior Minister Soylu also called the Karaman Governor during the meeting to ensure the allocation of unpaid wages to Ermenek miners who had been marching with the Soma workers to obtain multiple months' salaries, the statement noted.
"He told him to resolve Ermenek miners' issues within two days. A committee of our representatives will meet with the Karaman governor for a final resolution," the miners added.
The miners' representatives who met with Interior Minister Soylu told him that they would follow along with the resolution until Jan. 15, and the workers will restart their march on Jan. 16 if a solution hasn't emerged by then, the statement added.
"We believe that we can dismantle this system of enslavement with the torches of bravery we will light up with our courage as laborers."
Since starting their march in October, the miners have been met with numerous backlashes from law enforcement, starting at the kick-off point of Soma.
The group had also met with representatives of the state-owned Turkish Coal Ent. and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Group Deputy Chair Özlem Zengin, but neither negotiation yielded solutions.