Turkish PM's adviser who kicked mourner removed from nonexistent position, still on duty: Report
Yusuf Yerkel (R) sparked outrage after kicking a mourner in Soma following the mining disaster. AP PhotoThe prime minister’s advisor Yusuf Yerkel, who sparked outrage after kicking a mourner in Soma following the mining disaster, still retains his position, Turkish media reported May 28, contradicting previous reports that he was removed following his act.
News website T24 reported that although it was announced that Yerkel was dismissed as deputy chief of the Cabinet, no such position existed at the office of the prime minister. According to the report, Yerkel was assigned as an advisor, a position from which he has not yet been removed.
It also said the Prime Ministry decided to let Yerkel keep his position, provided he does not participate in the prime minister’s future trips. Yerkel had been appointed advisor before the 2011 general elections.
Yerkel stirred outrage after taking medical leave for an injury he sustained from kicking the mourner.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesman Hüseyin Çelik claimed Yerkel was attacked first and acted in “self-defense.” But Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç later condemned Yerkel, as footage surfaced appearing to contradict his and Çelik’s version of events.