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  • Human Rights Research Center

9 Workers Missing in Turkish Gold Mine Landslide

February 14, 2024

A general view of the Copler gold mine near Ilic village, eastern Turkey. [Image Credit: Ugur Yildirim | Dia images via AP]

Cited Article from the Associated Press

HRRC raises awareness and urges the need for stricter regulations and oversight in Turkey's mining industry to prevent future disasters and safeguard both workers and the environment.

News Brief

A massive landslide struck the Copler gold mine in eastern Turkey, trapping at least nine workers underground. The missing workers are believed to be buried beneath the soil extracted from the mine, raising concerns about their safety and the environmental impact of the disaster. Geologists warn of potential contamination from dangerous substances like cyanide, posing a threat to the nearby Euphrates River. Despite government assurances that no cyanide has leaked into the waterway, concerns persist over the safety of mining operations in Turkey, given the country's poor track record in mine safety and past incidents, such as the 2022 Amasra coal mine explosion and the 2014 Soma coal mine disaster.

The Copler mine's history of environmental infractions, including a previous cyanide leak, underscores longstanding safety concerns. Social media content related to the disaster has been blocked by the Turkish government. An investigation into the incident has been initiated, with calls for accountability and improved safety measures from various stakeholders.


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