Turkish mine tragedy: Condolence book opens in Tbilisi

Georgia's Prime Minister and Foreign Minister made the first entry in the book of condolence. Photo: MFA
Agenda.ge, 15 May 2014 - 15:21, Tbilisi,Georgia

People in Georgia have the opportunity to offer their sympathies to people in Turkey by signing a book of condolence in tribute to those killed and affected by the mine tragedy in Turkey.

Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibahsvili and Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze visited the Turkish embassy in Georgia today and made the first entry in the book of condolence.

The Turkish population are coming to terms with the aftermath of a major explosion in a coal mine in Western Turkey. In the early hours of May 13, a coal mine in Soma exploded. At least 282 people died.

The death toll is continuing to rise as rescuers enter the mine however there is little hope any more survivors will be found.

The Turkish Ambassador to Georgia, Levent Gumrukcu, said this was the greatest tragedy to ever have occurred in his country.

"We feel strengthened as Georgia stands by us at this difficult moment,” the Turkish diplomat said.

He added it was a great honour for his country that Georgian leaders understood the enormity of the tragedy and offered its support.

After Foreign Minister Panjikidze recorded her condolences into the book, she said she was saddened to hear details of the mine explosion, spoken by the Turkish Ambassador.

"He told me the explosion took place in a small neighbourhood where almos the whole community was employed at the mine. There was a woman who lost her husband, two sons and son-in-law all at the same time, in one night,” she said.

The book of condolence will remain at the Turkish Embassy for the next two days. People who wish to express their sympathies and offer words of support to those affected by the mine explosion are welcome to sign the book.