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Report: Protester-kicking Erdogan aide fired

May 24, 2014 2:08 P.M. (Updated: May 24, 2014 2:08 P.M.)
ANKARA (AFP) -- A top aide to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who sparked global outrage after being photographed kicking an anti-government protester has been fired, a report said on Saturday.

Yusuf Yerkel unleashed an international outcry when photos went viral of him, dressed in a suit and tie, kicking a demonstrator as he was held down by two security officers during protests over the deadly mining disaster in Soma.

The pictures helped fuel outrage against the government over the country's worst-ever mining disaster that killed 301 people, especially when it later emerged that Yerkel was granted seven days of sick leave for the injuries that the kicking caused to his leg.

Yerkel further stoked the flames with his apology, in which he apologized for losing his cool, but not his actions.

"I am sorry as I was not able to keep my calm in the face of all provocations, insults, and attacks I was subjected to," Yerkel told local media.

That official Anatolia news agency on Saturday said that Yerkel, who has held the post of Erdogan's chief of staff for three years, was fired on Wednesday.
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