Soma Holding Chairman Alp Gurkan talks during a news conference in Soma
Soma Holding Chairman Alp Gurkan talks during a news conference in Soma Reuters

A pro-government Turkish newspaper has been accused of publishing an anti-Semitic article with the lead headline "The boss's son-in-law is a Jew" in reference to the owner of the Soma mine in which 301 people were killed.

Yeni Akit, a controversial conservative paper that has been criticised for its hate speech and extremist agenda in the past, accused Soma Holding CEO Alp Gurkan of a sinister Jewish conspiracy involving Israel in Turkey's worst mine disaster.

"While the cartel media, which have Jewish partners, and the parallel media, which are in love with Jews, and the Western media guided by Jews are accusing the prime minister over the Soma disaster, it has been revealed that the son-in-law of Alp Gürkan, the owner of the mining company that is responsible for the disaster, is a Jew named 'Mario Asafrana,' and he changed his name to 'Mahir'," reads the article according to a translation by Today's Zaman.

Other columns related to the conspiracy read: "Did the 'Jewish son-in-law' play a role in the parallel media's attack on Erdoğan?" and "All info on Soma incident leads us to Israel".

The article was immediately condemned on social media by Turkish netizens and commentators:

The ruling AK Party of prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has come under intense scrutiny for its handling of the Soma mine disaster.

Erdogan has been criticised for his remarks after the coal mine fire, specifically his comments that this sort of accident is "normal". He was forced to take refuge in a shop in Soma after furious relatives besieged him.