A new Turkish festival planned to take place at Trafalgar Square this Saturday has been cancelled. The organisers of a Turkish Day in London made the announcement yesterday, stating that the “continuing tragedy of [the] mining accident at Soma. Turkey” meant they could not “justify celebrating at Turkish Day in London”.
Over 280 miners have been killed following an explosion in the Soma mine in Manisa, western Turkey. With hundreds more trapped below ground, the death toll is expected to rise still further, making it Turkey’s worst-ever mining disaster. The tragic scenes from Soma have plunged the entire country into grief and yesterday the Turkish government declared three days of national mourning.
The full text from the organisers of the festival can be read below:
Dear Turkish Day in London Community.
Turkey is continuing to suffer the tragedy of yesterday’s mining accident at Soma. Turkey has lost hundreds brave miners and the situation continues to develop. Families, friends and colleagues of those that have passed away are experiencing unimaginable grief and suffering at this time. We therefore cannot justify celebrating at Turkish Day in London so soon after this catastrophic event or, as the case may be, whilst it is still unfolding.
To that end we have decided to postpone Turkish Day in London until further notice. We hope you, as a community who have shown extraordinary enthusiasm to celebrate Turkish and Anatolian culture can understand our decision. Our thoughts are with the survivors and the families, friends and colleagues of those that have passed away.