Turkey swept by protests as anger grows over fatal mine explosion
Thousands join strike and crowds heckle president while relatives begin to bury the nearly 300 coalminers killed in Soma
Relatives mourn on Thursday during the funeral of one of the coalminers killed in Soma, Turkey. Photograph: Ahmet Sik/Getty Images
Anger at the deadly mine explosion in Turkey spread across the country on Thursday as thousands of workers joined a protest strike, demonstrators clashed with security forces, and families began to bury scores of men killed in the disaster.
As the death toll at the Soma coalmine pushed towards 300, with hopes extinguished for at least 100 more miners thought to be trapped deep in the pit, fury was directed at the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan – and fuelled by pictures of one of his aides violently assaulting a protester, and claims that Erdoğan himself had struck a teenage girl.