May 17 - Police fire rubber bullets and water cannon at protesters in the town of Soma after mine disaster. Paul Chapman reports.
The mine disaster in the Turkish town of Soma has unleashed a wave of anger across the nation. Police fired water cannon and rubber bullets to break up this demonstration Soma itself. By Saturday 292 people were confirmed dead. Search teams are looking for 10 still missing after fire flooded the mine with carbon monoxide in minutes on Tuesday. The national anger is directed partly at mine owners accused of putting profit over safety. But it's also aimed at the government of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, regarded as too cosy with industry tycoons and lax on enforcing regulations. The disaster's turning into a political crisis for Erdogan. Footage emerged of him apparently slapping a man as residents jeered and jostled his entourage when he visited Soma earlier this week. The man said Erdogan had slapped him and told Kanal D TV he was then beaten by the prime minister's bodyguards. Erdogan's party says there's no visual evidence to support the allegation. Anger's been further intensified by a photograph of an Erdogan aide kicking a protester held down by police special forces.