Aydan Özoğuz, Federal Government Commissioner for Integration, also expressed her sincere sympathy.
The official death toll following an accident at a mine in western Turkey now stands at almost 300. In a telegram of condolence to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Chancellor Angela Merkel wrote, "I would like to express my deepest sympathy for you and the Turkish people. We hope that those injured will make a speedy recovery to full health". At this difficult time, Germany stands by Turkey and is ready and willing to help.
Federal Government Commission for Integration "devastated"
The Federal Government Commissioner for Integration, Aydan Özoğuz, expressed her devastation in the face of the disaster. "My sincere sympathy goes to the families of the miners. My hopes are with those who are still waiting for their fathers, husbands or brothers to be rescued alive," she declared in Berlin. A country like Germany, which has a long mining tradition, can truly appreciate the work performed by miners deep under ground. "Many German citizens have family and friends in Turkey."
In the wake of the disaster, German flags at the German Embassy and consulates in Turkey are flying at half mast. The homepage of the German Embassy in Ankara reads, "We mourn the miners of Soma. In these difficult hours our thoughts are with their families,. Following Tuesday’s accident the Turkish government announced three days of official mourning.