Turkish parliament downvotes opposition proposal for probe into deadly factory blast

Turkey’s parliament on Wednesday downvoted a motion by the main opposition party calling for an investigation into a deadly series of explosions at a factory in the country’s northwest.

The motion submitted by the secularist Republican People’s Party (CHP) called for a probe into a June 3 blast in a fireworks factory in Sakarya province’s town of Hendek, which left seven dead and 114 injured.

The motion was downvoted by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) alliance, Artı Gerçek news site reported.

The company that runs the factory is a member of the conservative Independent Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association, which is known for its close ties with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s AKP.

Critics and some factory employees have directed the blame for the blasts on lax safe regulations and a negligent management staff.

Five people have been taken into police custody since the incident as part of an ongoing investigation. Two of the factory’s owners were detained on Tuesday while the manager in charge and two foremen were arrested on Saturday.

“There have been seven explosions in this factory,’’ CHP Group Deputy Chairman Engin Özkoç said in parliament on Wednesday. 

“The factory has changed locations seven times and re-established each time despite failing to meet regulations. Immediate action must be taken, including the disclosure of inspection and fire-fighter reports and those who are guilty must immediately be tried in court.’’