Popular website ordered to remove entries on PM’s aide who kicked Soma mourner
Yusuf Yerkel (R) seen kicking a Soma mourner on May 14, 2015.Popular Turkish website Ekşi Sözlük (Sour Dictionary), a whimsical, user-run online encyclopedia, has deleted entries on the Turkish prime minister’s aide who made headlines after kicking a mourner in the mine disaster-struck town of Soma, upon a court order.
At the time an advisor to then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Yusuf Yerkel sparked outrage after being photographed kicking a mourner in Soma in the wake of a mine tragedy that killed 301 workers on May 13, 2014.
Following a complaint by Yerkel, the Third Criminal Court of Peace in Ankara decided on Dec. 3 for the removal of all entries under the aide’s name.
While it otherwise could have gone unnoticed, the decision was noted by masses as Dec. 4 is celebrated as International Miner’s Day.
Ekşi Sözlük users have so far written 590 new entries on Yerkel following the discovery just a day ago - most of which mock the attempt to conceal the widespread public backlash to the incident.
Speaking to daily Hürriyet’s website, sources from Ekşi Sözlük confirmed the decision, though they declined to comment further.
Currently an advisor to Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Yerkel went on sick leave after the incident due to an injury sustained in the leg he used to kick the protester. Although there were reports claiming he had been removed from duty, the allegations later proved baseless.
Yerkel did not face any disciplinary action that affected his record as a public servant, as the higher adviser to Erdoğan failed to initiate an investigation at the time.
A total of 301 miners died of carbon monoxide poisoning after an explosion at a coalmine in Soma, in the western Turkish province of Manisa, which remains Turkey’s deadliest mining disaster.