Man kicked by Erdogan’s aide in Soma fined by court

MANISA: A miner who was kicked by then-prime minister and current Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s aide Yusuf Yerkel in Manisa’s Soma district following the country’s biggest ever mine disaster has been fined TL 548 by a court. The fine is for causing material damage by kicking Erdogan’s convoy’s official car.

Erdogan’s aide Yerkel kicked protestor Erdal Kocabiyik, who had lost his cousin in the accident that claimed the lives of 301 miners, during Erdogan’s visit to Soma last year. According to witness accounts, special forces had been interrogating the protester after he kicked the official car. Yerkel, who saw the scene while preparing to take a seat in the car assigned to him, rushed at Kocabiyik and kicked him three or four times. At the time Kocabiyik stated that he had not filed a criminal complaint against Yerkel.

Speaking to Today’s Zaman, Derya Kocabiyik, the wife of the miner, said they received a summons from a court, saying material damage occurred to the official car and that her husband has been fined for TL 548 for the damage. The wife also stated that her husband is unable to find work at any mining company in the region due to the incident.

“They do not employ my husband at any mine. All of the companies have closed their doors to my husband. He is now working as a porter,” Kocabiyik said.

Kocabiyik also said her little girl has been negatively affected by the incident. Saying that her daughter saw the moment Yerkel delivered the kicks to her father, Kocabiyik said she cannot answer her daughter when she asks why the man is kicking her father.