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Can Erdogan survive Soma mine tragedy?

The Soma mine disaster might be the incident to finally damage the prime minister's presidential aspirations.
A boot and a helmet are seen in a changing room used by coal miners after a mining disaster in Soma, a district in Turkey's western province of Manisa May 14, 2014. Rescuers were still trying to reach parts of the coal mine in Soma, 480 km (300 miles) southwest of Istanbul, almost 48 hours after fire knocked out power and shut down the ventilation shafts and elevators, trapping hundreds underground. At least 282 people have been confirmed dead, mostly from carbon monoxide poisoning, and hopes are fading of

Only a week ago, I wrote, “There is never a dull moment in Turkey.” My inspiration at the time was the drama of the prime minister stalking out of a solemn, official event. He lost his control, stood up and yelled at the speaker, who happened to be the chairman of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations. All this drama took place in front of the president and was televised live.

After less than a week, I need to add a new dictum: “Impossibility is impossible in today’s Turkey.” During a visit to the western Turkish town of Soma, where hundreds of miners lost their lives in a disaster mourned by the entire nation, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was caught on video seemingly striking a young miner inside a shop. Erdogan was forced to take refuge in a supermarket when confronted by an angry crowd calling for his resignation.

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