Turkish PM's aide fired following photos showing him kicking protester
In this photo a person identified by Turkish media as Yusuf Yerkel, advisor to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, kicks a protester already held by special forces police members during Erdogan's visiting Soma, Turkey, Wednesday, May 14, 2014. (AP / Depo Photos)
The Associated Press
Published Saturday, May 24, 2014 11:09AM EDT
ANKARA, Turkey -- Turkey's state-run news agency says an aide to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who was photographed kicking a protester during a visit to town hit by a coal mine disaster has been dismissed from his post as deputy chief of staff.
A video and photographs showing Yusuf Yerkel kicking a protester held on the ground by two police officers sparked outrage and tarnished the Turkish leader's image ahead of his expected run for president.
Anadolu Agency said Saturday that Yerkel was removed from his post in Erdogan's office on Wednesday. It said he would be assigned to another position, which has yet to be determined.
Yerkel had issued a statement expressing regret but also claimed that he was provoked.