A prominent columnist from the Radikal daily, Murat Yetkin, penned a searing column titled “Soma is neither Gezi nor the graft probe, you know that, right?” Yetkin explained that the Soma mine disaster touched a different nerve in society and could not be blamed on a lobby. Several opposition pundits joined Yetkin to argue that the Soma disaster could easily escalate to bring the “end of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan,” that is, if his administration could be held accountable. One supporting argument opposition was that the Soma disaster harmed Erdogan’s public image so much that he had to delay the much-anticipated announcement about his presidential bid.
In response to the mounting criticism, dedicated Justice and Development Party (AKP) supporters first engaged in a social lynching campaign. Instantly, multiple domestic and international publications that put the government on the spot were delegitimized and quite a few journalists were targeted and labeled as “Erdogan-haters.”