Comment is superfluous

You may recall Yusuf Yerkel, the former PhD student at SOAS University and current adviser to Turksih Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was photographed in the wake of the Soma mine disaster kicking an anti-government protester while two policemen held him down.

Now The Independent reports:

The Turkish prime minister’s aide Yusef Yerkel has allegedly been given sick leave after being diagnosed with soft tissue trauma in his right leg – the same leg used to kick a protester shortly after the country’s worst mining disaster in history.

A shocking image emerged last week showing the moment Mr Yerkel kicked a protester already being restrained on the ground during anti-government demonstrations following an explosion in a coal mine that left 282 dead and scores more injured.

The picture was taken in Soma, the town where the mining disaster took place, and caused outrage after it was shared across social media thousands of times.

Mr Yekel later issued a reluctant apology, claiming he had been kicked by the protester and provoked into attacking him, and his actions were later defended by officials who described it as “self-defence”.

A report from the Ankara hospital testifies to “sensitivity with leg and arm movements and difficulty with walking”, which Mr Yerkel reportedly blamed on a fall, the Hurriyet Daily News has reported.

“There are 10×10 cm oedema, bruises and soft tissue panicula on the right knee, and bruises and soft tissue swelling on the left shoulder and front of the chest. The patient has been diagnosed with soft tissue trauma as there is sensitivity with leg and arm movements and difficulty with walking,” the hospital report allegedly states.

No word on the condition of the protester, but who cares? The main thing is that he should apologize for causing injury to an important government official’s foot.

Update: Erdogan continues his journey into fantasy land.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused a BBC Turkey reporter of hiring two actors to pose as relatives of dead Soma miners.

A 59-second clip, shot by BBC Turkish journalist Rengin Arslan, showed two veiled women at the cemetery in Soma, claiming that they previously voted for Erdogan’s ruling AK Party but after the Soma mine disaster, which killed 301 people, they changed their minds.

One woman said that in Soma people voted AK “out of fear” and received bribes to do so.

At a party meeting following the BBC broadcast, Erdogan accused the women of faking their connection with the miners, and lying to the international press.

In a statement, BBC Turkey described the criticism as an “unfounded allegation” and stood by its video.

“BBC Turkey did not interview the women, we just filmed the two women while they were talking” the statement said. “We also have confirmation that they are miners’ wives. For all these reasons, we stand behind the news reported.”

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