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Soma (District Municipality, Turkey)

Last modified: 2019-11-11 by ivan sache
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Flag of Soma - Image by Jens Pattke, 23 February 2013

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Presentation of Soma

The municipality of Soma (102,666 inhabitants in 2012, 76,305 in the town proper; 83,887 ha) is located 90 km north of Manisa.

Ivan Sache, 10 March 2016

Flag of Soma

The flag of Soma (photo) is white with the municipality's emblem. "Belediyesi" means "Municipality".
The emblem of the municipality features a miner's lamp and tools.

The coal mining area within Soma covers 18,000 ha and is estimated to hold around 205 million tonnes of lignite reserves, with only a minimum of the reserves possessing a heat content of more than 3,000 kcal/kg.
General Directorate of the Turkish Coal Enterprises' (TKI) contract offer to produce 15 million tonnes of coal reserves within the Soma Eynez region was transferred from Cinar Group to Soma Kömür Isletmeleri's in September 2009. Soma Kömür Isletmeleri started operating the new coal mine with a production capacity of 2.5 million tonnes per annum. Lignite produced from the mine is purchased by TKI to power the neighbouring Soma Thermal Power Plant.
A 510 MW coal-based thermal power plant, known as the Soma Kolin Thermal Power Plant, is currently being constructed by HIDRO-GEN Enerji Ithalat Ihracat Dagitim ve Ticaret. The new plant will be fed by Eynez and other coal mines in Soma when it comes online in April 2017.

The Eynez coal mine in Soma, Manisa Province, Turkey, saw one of the world's worst mining disasters on 13 May 2014 following an explosion. The total number of casualties from the incident was estimated at 282 the following day and is expected to rise further.
Soma Kömür Isletmeleri's website and a press release by the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency of Turkey (AFAD) reported that it was induced by a transformer explosion, leading to a fire within the underground mine. The report also mentions that 363 miners have been rescued and more than 150 people have yet to be located, making it one of the world's worst coal mining disasters.
The tragedy occurred during a shift change at the mine, when approximately 800 people were present at the site. The miners are trapped at depths of approximately 2,000 m below the surface.
Protests from a number of labour unions followed the disaster, calling a one-day nationwide strike the next day. Anger is directed at the current government Justice and Development Party (AKP) for privatising mining operations and for rejecting a Republican People's Party's (CHP) proposal submitted to the Parliament in 2013 to investigate work-related accidents at coal mines in Soma.
[Mining Technology]

When Recep Tayyip Erdogan - then Prime Minister, now President - visited Soma shortly after the tragedy, he stoked the anger. Deaths were part of the job, he told distraught relatives, giving the example of industrial accidents in England in the 19th Century. Protests forced him into a local shop to take refuge, where footage appeared to show him allegedly hitting a demonstrator. One of his aides was photographed kicking a protester.
A year on, fury still seethes in Soma. Huge rallies broke out there last weekend. Some who took part were dressed as miners, others carried photographs and the names of those who died. Chants rang out of "Erdogan: thief, murderer" and "the coal of Soma will burn down the government". Some 45 company executives are currently on trial but the government has blocked the investigation of any minister or civil servant, a decision challenged by the State Council.
[BBC News, 13 May 2015]

Tomislav Šipek & Ivan Sache, 10 March 2016

Former municipalities



Flag of Avdan - Image by Jens Pattke, 18 May 2013

The flag of Avdan (photo) was white with the municipality's emblem.

Tomislav Šipek, 7 May 2013



Flag of Cenkyeri - Image by Jens Pattke, 28 May 2015

The flag of Cenkyeri was white with the municipality's emblem.

Tomislav Šipek, 13 May 2013



Flag of Turgutalp - Image by Jens Pattke, 7 June 2015

The flag of Turgutalp (photo) was white with the municipality's emblem.

Tomislav Šipek, 13 May 2013

Soma Chamber of Commerce and Industry


Flag of STSO - Image by Ivan Sache, 4 August 2019

The flag of STSO (photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo) is white with the organization's emblem.

Ivan Sache, 4 August 2019