Erdogan aide fired after protester kick sparks outrage

The photo of Yusuf Yerkel, dressed in a suit and tie, kicking a demonstrator as he was held down by two security officers shocked the world.
Turkish newspapers Cumhuriyet and Milliyet printed photographs they said were of Mr Erdogan’s aide, Yusuf Yerkel, kicking a protester who was on the ground and being held by special forces police. Depo Photos/AFP Photo
Turkish newspapers Cumhuriyet and Milliyet printed photographs they said were of Mr Erdogan’s aide, Yusuf Yerkel, kicking a protester who was on the ground and being held by special forces police. Depo Photos/AFP Photo

ANKARA // Turkey’s prime minister has fired an aide who was photographed kicking a protester after the recent Soma coal mine disaster.

Yusuf Yerkel, who was Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s chief of staff for three years, was fired on Wednesday.

The photo of Mr Yerkel, dressed in a suit and tie, kicking a demonstrator as he was held down by two security officers sparked global outrage and tarnished the Turkish leader’s image ahead of his expected run for president.

It later emerged that he was granted seven days’ sick leave for the injuries that the kicking caused to his leg.

Mr Yerkel had issued a statement expressing regret but also claimed that he was provoked.

He would be assigned to another position which has yet to be determined, said Anadolu Agency.

*Associated Press

Published: May 25, 2014 04:00 AM

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