Turkey Commemorates Berkin Elvan on his Death Anniversary

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Istanbul, Okmeydanı. Policeman aiming directly on people. This is how Berkin Elvan and Abdullah Cömert were killed, and many others were blinded or severely injured.

Istanbul, Okmeydanı. Policeman aiming directly on people. This is how Berkin Elvan and Abdullah Cömert were killed, and many others were blinded or severely injured.

Several protests, boycotts and activities were organized across the country in commemoration of Berkin Elvan, a 14-year-old child, who was shot dead by Turkish police, hit on his head by a tear gas canister as he was on his way to buy a loaf of bread during the Gezi uprising in 2013. Berkin was in coma for nine months before he died. (How Berkin Elvin was killed in 14 languages)

Ankara, Middle East Technical University

Ankara, Middle East Technical University

Students organized boycotts, protests, sit-in acts and several commemoration activities in many universities and high schools in İstanbul, Ankara, Eskişehir, İzmir and Tekirdağ. Clashes between police and the protesters erupted in several places in Ankara and İstanbul. Police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse protestors, detaining and injuring several people. Protesters responded with slingshots, barricades and fireworks. In Okmeydanı / İstanbul, where Berkin Elvan was living and shot, protesters broke surveillance cameras and armed militia of People’s Front were seen on the streets.

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Being the youngest victim of police brutality, Berkin Elvan became one of the symbols of Gezi uprising, a wave of anti-government protests storming Turkey in the summer of 2013. No one has been charged or held responsible, except the president –then prime minister- Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, as he is remembered to be declaring his responsibility with this statement: “They ask who is giving orders to the police. I gave the orders myself”. Erdoğan also blamed Berkin’s grieving mother, Gülsüm Elvan, for leaving a handful of marbles to his son’s grave, claiming it to be an evidence of Berkin’s being a “terrorist”.

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Jennifer Baker is the founder and editor of Revolution News revnewsmedia@gmail.com