PM's adviser who kicked mourner removed from post

PM's adviser who kicked mourner removed from post

PMs adviser who kicked mourner removed from post

Prime ministerial adviser Yerkel (L) attracted widespread anger after he was photographed kicking the prostrate mourner following the May 13 Soma mining disaster.

Prime ministerial adviser Yusuf Yerkel, who kicked a protester in Soma on May 14, has been removed from his post, daily Hürriyet reported May 24. 

The decision went into effect on May 21, the report said, citing Prime Ministry sources. Yerkel had been appointed to the post before the 2011 general elections.

Yerkel sparked outrage after being photographed kicking a mourner while accompanying Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during his visit to the disaster-struck town of Soma on May 14. He went on seven days of sick leave after the incident. 

According to the medical report, Yerkel went to the Ankara Atatürk Training and Research Hospital at around 8 p.m. on the same day with a complaint about pain in his right knee and was examined by Dr. Servan Gökhan. In the medical examination, Yerkel reportedly said the pain in his knee emerged because he fell. 

He was diagnosed with soft tissue trauma and given medical leave. 

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesman Hüseyin Çelik claimed that Yerkel was attacked first and defended himself, but Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç condemned the government official, while footage appeared to contradict Yerkel and Çelik's version of events.

“It is a very catastrophic incident,” Arınç said of the event after a weekly Cabinet meeting May 21. “I am not in a position to defend it, whoever he is.”