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And then it is still in the shaft

On the day of the hard coal mining in Germany, men from the Bay, are shut down to come back up. You will wear a miner's jacket, the blue-and-white striped shirt, the neck-cloth. In the Hand you will hold Coal. Then will talk: The Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, the German Federal President, the President of the EU Commission, the Chairman of the Board of the Ruhr coal AG, it is in the record. A chapel will play.

"good luck, the foreman comes. And he has his bright light at night, / and he has his bright light at night, / he's lit his lamp t, / he's lit his lamp."

The big Show. Why? To understand this, you can look centuries back, as the coal gained in importance, first in Britain, then in the Ruhr and in the Saarland, as 607000 men in 173 mines worked. You can look back a few decades, as the coal lost its importance. Perhaps a couple of hours, but with Ali Öztürk.

Bottrop, Zeche Prosper-Haniel shaft ten. The tower dominates everything. His color has fine cracks. In the morning Ali Öztürk from the office went to the office and has signed that he will be giving everything that belongs to the mine, and also that he is not coming to get it. In the safety Department. In the Laundry room. In the lamp room. "Machstet well," said the colleague. Now lunch is his last day of work, and he don't know what to do. 31. December closes the mine. Still time to adopt? He's on the move.

time of day

defines The paths are wide like streets, the right and left containers on top of each other. In a only a broom on the wall is leaning. Ali Öztürk runs past it, up on a farm, in the Smoking area. Corrugated Sheet Roof, Trash Can, Plastic Bucket Seats. He remains standing. No one was there. "Dat is a weird feeling." Why is it funny? He is thinking of. To describe "difficult." Then he picks an E-cigarette from his jacket and takes two trains.

Ali Öztürk is 49 years old, 33 of which he has worked. He was a mine mechanic, Steiger, security officer, he ran through the corridors, and sometimes crawled, he controlled the machine, he has taken to ensure that the men are all wearing protective helmets, goggles, that you wear gloves when working with chemicals. He looked to see that nothing happens if the man is digging in the mountain, this time has changed him. He says: "Dat prächt."

In the days of trusting other people, because you have it. Under days no matter where you come from. Since the men are not talking, sometimes coarse, and sometimes not at all. Just Ali Öztürk has the feeling that he needed to talk because something else is forgotten: the value of the coal.

The stone coal has known a thousand year old history, even the Romans and Celts. Compared to that, it has only recently importance. In the middle ages, people needed coal to heat and forge, they burned bricks in your gluten. The glow blazed for a long time. In the 17th century. Century they learned from coke. In the 18th century. Century, they used the coke to iron. Then it went off.

in 1870 were the blast furnaces is greater, always greater, the German-produced iron and steel, built cars, steam locomotives and Railways and tanks. It is the age of industrialization, the age of coal. Coal, as the Germans have fired their wars with iron and steel, they have built up their country again. In 1960 they produced 142 million tons. The coal – much harder than brown coal was a promise, in Good times and in Bad.

the father was a miner

Öztürk was two years old when his father left the family in the direction of Germany. It was the time in which the German Turks recruiting and they called "guest workers". His father was a guest worker. Shaft Radbod, Hamm, Westphalia. At the beginning of the seventies the family moved from Turkey.

Ali Öztürk saw his father standing to the layer in front of the sink and brush the coal dust under the fingernails out scrubbed. A proud man. But he also saw the mate on the road, some were limping, some guzzled in the morning. "Come on, cotton," said the father, and the Boy began an apprenticeship as a retail merchant. One of his friends worked days, earned 400 marks more. In 1984, Ali Öztürk began training as a mining mechanic. The coal was also a promise for him.

In 1990, encouraged the German 76.4 million tons of coal. 2000: 37.4 Million Tonnes. 2010: 14.1 Million Tons. 2017: 3.7 Million Tons. At some point in this time, Ali Öztürk became clear that the promise would not last forever.

Ali Öztürk
respect for the mountain. And the
people, he says, should respect the coal.

Ali Öztürk on a door, behind it is a hall. Tiled floor, tiled walls, dim light. Here he has picked up his miner's lamp. Because he has filled up his water bottle. They can be hung on the belt, and often he has not drunk it, but he took you always, to the security. A miner should have a respect for the mountain. And people should have respect for the coal. So he sees this.

As the coal was cheaper on the world market, the problems began. The state decided to subsidize German coal alone, in 2002, with 2.6 billion euros. In 2007, the government adopted the "coal financing act". It fixed the end of the subsidies, and thus the end of the coal industry.

just before the revolving doors of Ali Öztürk. Only men by may, the start-up. He knows how he is for the first Time. The barred Door of the castle crashing down, the cage rustled down. As he got out, there were only heat, 34 degrees, of darkness and of the light cone of his headlamp. He's stumbled. In the mountain he squeezed the toes, the bruised Ribs, a lump of coal struck him on the head, it remained a scar. "This," he says. Even otherwise, he was lucky. For him the adaptation, a kind of pension before retirement, says he starts, he will get about 1500 euros net every month. He must write no more applications, no new work to start, such as about 250 of the younger colleagues.

In October, the buddy have promoted the last chunks of coal. Just Unscrew the machine. Also, the Oil and fats may remain in the soil. Then you fill the shafts with Sand and concrete. The salty mine water is not pumping in the future, so that it mixes with the groundwater. This Work is likely to cost 250 to 300 million euros every year. Forever.

What are

Öztürk is called by a buddy, the two hug, and beat with the Hand on the shoulder. Then Ali Öztürk gets into his car. He wants to show something else. Twenty minutes later, he stands in front of a mountain of earth and gravel. On the roadside with a sign: "What remains" are true "characters". Ali Öztürk gasps a bit as he arrived on the mountain. The symbol is a tetrahedron made from steel. He looks at him only briefly, to the edge of the viewing platform. In front of him: bare tree tops, birch stems, scrub. On the hills of wind turbines.

In the past year were won in Germany, 36 per cent of electricity from renewable energy sources. The proportion is growing from year to year. Within the renewable energies, the share of wind energy is highest, 16 percent. Thereafter, biomass (7 percent), solar energy (6 percent), hydropower (3 percent). Wind energy is now more important than electricity from coal and nuclear power. And you should still be more important: by 2030 65 per cent of electricity should come from renewable energies.

"The current from the North, you can stop still not in the South." Break. "But, well, coal is imported now." Break. "I am asking myself, wat to bring dat."

His biggest concern is that people could forget the mining industry. That you are, sometime before the clinker-built row houses, and know that the times were colliery settlements. The coal is still cursed more. He knows how proud his father was and how proud he is today. Maybe he also wants to see, therefore, that the mining industry remains in good memory, because coal was always more than a supplier of energy.

He looks again across the country. The Support Towers. The Manholes. All of the Green. Then he goes back across the platform, down the mountain. A few hours later, he will change his Whatsapp image. On the new photo he is wearing the mountain man's jacket, the blue-and-white striped shirt, the neck-cloth. The clothing is black, the hands, the skin, the coal-dust caught in his Beard. He looks very dirty and very satisfied.

On the day of the mining industry in Germany, ends, 500 invited guests to Bottrop. Ali Öztürk. He has received no invitation. Can't stand all there, he says. "It's no matter," he says. But who's going to believe him?

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 17.12.2018, 19:18 Uhr

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