Yusuf Yerkel
Yusuf Yerkel aiming a kick at a protesterReuters

Yusuf Yerkel, the top aide to Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who caused global outrage for kicking a protester in Soma after the mine disaster, has taken sick leave for purported injuries he sustained during the incident.

Yerkel, who was a graduate student at the School of African and Oriental Studies, University of London, was diagnosed with soft tissue trauma and given seven days medical leave.

"There are 10x10 cm oedema, bruises and soft tissue panicula on the right knee, and bruises and soft tissue panicula on the left shoulder and front of the chest. The patient has been diagnosed with soft tissue trauma as there is sensitivity with leg and arm movements and difficulty with walking," the report said according to Hurriyet news.

Yerkel refused to apologise to his victim and denounced "provocations and insults" of the protesters in the disaster-struck town.

"I have been deeply saddened by the incident that occurred in Soma on May 14. I am sorry for being unable to keep calm despite all of the provocations, insults and attacks I faced on that day," said Yerkel, according to Anadolu Agency.

Witnesses said two soldiers had been holding down and interrogating a protester after he kicked an official car belonging to the convoy of the prime minister when Yerkel rushed at the man and kicked him "three or four times".

A picture of the incident went viral after it was published on social media.

Controversial PM Erdogan has said that labour accidents like the coal mine explosion in Soma were "normal".

He was forced to take refuge in a shop in Soma after furious relatives besieged him.

A video footage that emerged online showed Erdogan being booed and heckled by an angry mob before he was escorted to a shop by his security team.

According to some reports, some people kicked his official car while a crowd smashed up the local headquarters of the ruling AK Party.

Public anger has been fuelled by accusations that Erdogan's ruling AK Party dismissed a parliamentary motion submitted by the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) to investigate safety in the Soma mines as recently as 29 April.