Pro-Erdogan Paper Blames Mine Disaster on the Jews

Focused on deflecting criticism of prime minister for his handling of the tragedy, column declares, 'All info on Soma incident leads us to Israel.'

The front page of Yeni Akit.
The front page of Yeni Akit.

A conservative paper supporting Turkey's prime minister went on an anti-Semitic diatribe regarding the recent mine disaster that claimed the lives of 301 people, International Business Times reported Wednesday.

The article on the front page of Yeni Akit on Tuesday declared that the son-in-law of Alp Gurkan, the owner of the Soma mine where the disaster occurred, is a Jew. The paper was roundly condemned on social media.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been under fire for his handling of the tragedy. He infuriated Turks last week by saying mining accidents "are in the nature of the business." An aide of Erdogan was caught on camera kicking a protester who had cursed the prime minister during his visit to Soma, and Erdogan allegedly punched a young man in a supermarket.

The Business Times provided a translation of sections of the article. "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 Gurkan, 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'," it was written in Yeni Akit according to the translation.

The paper, founded in 2010 as a successor to another paper that was forced to close after its owner was sued successfully for defamation of the military, was fined in 2012 for describing gay people as "perverts."

This week's issue also included conspiracy-related columns, reading "Did the 'Jewish son-in-law' play a role in the parallel media's attack on Erdogan?" and "All info on Soma incident leads us to Israel," the Business Times reported.