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 | Updated 20 May 2014

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.

  • 1 TURKEY-MINING-ACCIDENT
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  • Miners leave after searching for hours hundreds of their colleagues who remain trapped underground on May 14, 2014 following an explosion and fire in their coal mine in the western Turkish province of Manisa killed at least 201 people. AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
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  • Rescuers carry out a dead miner on May 14, 2014 after an explosion and fire in a coal mine in the western Turkish province of Manisa killed at least 201 people and hundreds remain trapped underground. AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
  • 3 TURKEY-MINING-ACCIDENT
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  • Rescuers carry out a dead miner on May 14, 2014 after an explosion and fire in a coal mine in the western Turkish province of Manisa killed at least 201 people and hundreds remain trapped underground. AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
  • 4 TURKEY-MINING-ACCIDENT
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  • A woman reacts as she searches for relatives while rescuers carry out dead miners on May 14, 2014 after an explosion and fire in a coal mine in the western Turkish province of Manisa killed at least 201 people and hundreds remain trapped underground. AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
  • 5 TURKEY-MINING-ACCIDENT
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  • Two men react after the death of a relative on May 14, 2014 following an explosion and fire in a coal mine in the western Turkish province of Manisa killed at least 201 people and hundreds remain trapped underground. AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
  • 6 Scores Of Miners Trapped Underground After Fire In Mine
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  • MANISA, TURKEY - MAY 14: The body of a miner is carried to an ambulance by rescue teams after a coal mine explosion on May 14, 2014 in Soma, Manisa, Turkey. Rescuers pulled more dead and injured from the coal mine in western Turkey on Wednesday more than 19 hours after the explosion, bringing the death toll to 238 in what could become the nation's worst ever mining disaster. Hundreds more are still believed to be trapped in the mine in Soma, about 480 kilometres (298 miles) southwest of Istanbul. The explosion, which triggered a fire, occurred shortly after 3 pm (1200 GMT) on Tuesday. (Photo by Ozgu Ozdemir/Getty Images)
  • 7 Scores Of Miners Trapped Underground After Fire In Mine
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  • MANISA, TURKEY - MAY 14: A miner is carried to an ambulance by rescue teams after a coal mine explosion, on May 14, 2014 in Soma, Manisa, Turkey. Rescuers pulled more dead and injured from the coal mine in western Turkey on Wednesday more than 19 hours after the explosion, bringing the death toll to 238 in what could become the nation's worst ever mining disaster. Hundreds more are still believed to be trapped in the mine. (Photo by Ahmet Sik/Getty Images)
  • 8 Scores Of Miners Trapped Underground After Fire In Mine
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  • MANISA, TURKEY - MAY 14: A miner is carried to an ambulance by rescue teams after a coal mine explosion, on May 14, 2014 in Soma, Manisa, Turkey. Rescuers pulled more dead and injured from the coal mine in western Turkey on Wednesday more than 19 hours after the explosion, bringing the death toll to 238 in what could become the nation's worst ever mining disaster. Hundreds more are still believed to be trapped in the mine. (Photo by Ahmet Sik/Getty Images)
  • 9 TURKEY-MINING-ACCIDENT
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  • A miner reacts after being affected with toxic gas while searching for co-workers who remain trapped underground on May 14, 2014 after an explosion and fire in their coal mine in the western Turkish province of Manisa killed at least 201 people. AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
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