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In mining tragedy, Erdogan doesn't learn from past mistakes

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s disastrous response to the Soma mining tragedy reflects a narrow and defensive approach to politics.
A miner waits in front of the coal mine in Soma, a district in Turkey's western province of Manisa, after a coal mine explosion, May 17, 2014.  Rescue workers began winding up their operations on Saturday after finding the bodies of two more miners, believed to be the last remaining in the mine, bringing the death toll in Turkey's worst industrial disaster to 301, the energy minister said.  REUTERS/ Osman Orsal (TURKEY - Tags: DISASTER ENERGY) - RTR3PKPJ
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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government’s reaction to criticisms in the wake of the Soma mine disaster has shown that he has not learned anything from the disastrous attempt at crisis management during the Gezi Park protests of a year ago. Again, the government’s response appears to be harsh, slow, unsympathetic, detached and prone to disastrous mistakes.

More importantly, the government once again approached the issue in a polarizing "us versus them" way. Elements of the press it controls have correspondingly unleashed a full-fledged attack on government critics, demonstrators and victims of the tragedy.

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