After a mining disaster in Soma, Turkey in which almost 300 people are confirmed dead, Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the spot and was greeted by both mourners and protesters as rescue crews were attempting to find and save unaccounted for miners. According to reports, Turkey has a bit of a history with unsafe mines and Erdogan was finding himself in an awkward position when visiting Soma.
While there, some protesters were shouting that Erdogan was a “murderer” and a “thief”. Others were angry because the visit had the effect of siphoning resources and officials away from actually being used to carry out rescue efforts.
In this video, Erdogan can be seen moving through the crowd toward a grocery store, allegedly to confront one of the protesters that got under his skin. Upon entering the store, Erdogan can be seen punching an individual multiple times before walking out of the store. Reports favorable to Erdogan said that he entered the store to “take shelter” from protesters. That account is debunked by the video, which shows Erdogan entering the store, hurling punches, and then leaving the store.
In addition to Erdogan’s behavior, one of his aides was photographed kicking a mourner whose family members had been killed in the disaster.
**UPDATE** Here are other videos of the assault. In this one, watch to the end as Erdogan’s thugs really rough the guy up:
This video shows the aide kicking the mourner: