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Turkish Mine Disaster: PM's Adviser, Yusuf Yerkel, Goes On Sick Leave For Injury To Leg Used to Kick Protester

20/05/2014 10:00 BST | Updated 20/05/2014 10:59 BST

If you've ever felt guilty about pulling a sickie, this may help you put things in perspective.

Photographs of an adviser to the Turkish prime minister furiously kicking a protester in the disaster-struck town of Soma sent shockwaves across world last week.

Now, it has been reported that Yusuf Yerkel went on seven days of sick leave after the incident – because he hurt his leg.

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The photo appears to show Erdogan aide Yusuf Yerkel kicking a protester

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The aide has reportedly defended his actions against the protester

The prime ministerial adviser reportedly obtained a medical report allowing him to miss work due to injuries sustained to the leg that he used to kick the man, The Hurriyet Daily News reported.

According to the medical report, Yerkel went to the Ankara Atatürk Training and Research Hospital at around 8 pm on the same day with a complaint about pain in his right knee and was examined by Dr Servan Gökhan, the newspaper reported.

In the medical examination, Yerkel reportedly said the pain in his knee emerged because he fell.

Yerkel dismissed the shocking images, claiming he was defending himself from a militant left-wing demonstrator who had come to Soma specifically to cause disturbances.

"He assaulted me and insulted me, as well as to the prime minister. Should I keep silent?" he was quoted as saying.

Yerkel denounced “provocations and insults” and refused to apologise to his victim.

Witness accounts paint a different picture of the event. Hurriyet reports that Special Forces were interrogating the man after he kicked a vehicle in the prime minister’s convoy. When Yerkel saw the scene he reportedly ran over to the man and kicked him three or four times.

Sorrow has turned to fury in the wake of Turkey's worst mining disaster in its history, with the death toll after the tragedy now at 301.

Turkey Miners