Taner Kuruca denied claims that the Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan assaulted and insulted him during the chaotic scenes following the Soma mine disaster.
World Bulletin / News Desk
A man who claimed that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan punched him outside of a supermarket during protests against last week’s Soma mine disaster in the Manisa province has changed his story.
Taner Kuruca, who had originally said that Erdogan had mistakenly hit him after he became wedged between the entrance of a supermarket and the Prime Minister as he was exiting, now says that the Prime Minister was in fact trying to protect him his bodyguards.
“At first when I was at the entrance of the supermarket I didn’t notice that the Prime Minister was actually reaching out to protect me from his bodyguards,” Mr. Kuruca told Manisa Medya TV, adding, “At that moment I thought that the Prime Minister had thrown the punch, but it wasn’t him it was one of his bodyguards. I realized that later.”
Expressing his regret over his original statement, Mr. Kuruca said “I later looked at the taped footage and was able to identify the culprit. After I realized what had happened I was saddenned. If only I hadn’t accused the Prime Minister of throwing the punch.”
Removing any blame from the bodyguards, he insisted that they were just doing their job to protect the Prime Minister and said he would do the same if he was in their position. He also denied claimsthat Erdogan had insulted him during the incident.
“I believe there may have been an attempt to montage his words. I don’t believe the Prime Minister would say anything to insult me,” he said. Turkey’s Sozcu Newspaper, which is known to be a mouthpiece of the main opposition party CHP, had claimed that Erdogan had insulted Kuruca during the scuffle.
Taner Kuruca then apologized to Prime Minister Erdogan for the inconvenience he caused.