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Fri, 16 May 2014 16:35:39 +0000
(ANKARA, Turkey) -- An aide for Turkey’s prime minister apologized -- sort of -- for violently kicking a protester in the wake of a devastating mining accident.
Turkish newspapers identified the man seen on Wednesday attacking the protester, who was already being restrained by police, as Yusuf Yerkel, Prime Minister Recept Tayyip Erdogan’s deputy chief of staff.
“I am sorry that I was not able to keep calm despite all the provocations, insults and attacks that I was subjected to,” Yerkel said in a statement, a half-hearted apology that didn’t sit well with protesters.
Critics took to social media to blast Yerkel’s actions and response as callous and called for him to resign.
The incident came days after more than 250 people died in a mining accident, sparking protests about poor working conditions and government indifference. Many people called for workers’ strikes.
Erdogan has not commented on the incident.
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