15 year-old Berkin Elvan, who was hit by a police canister in the head during the Gezi protests in June 2013 and had been in coma since then, died on 11 March.
He was hit in Istanbul’s Okmeydani neighbourhood when he went out to buy bread.
He became one of the symbols of the Gezi protests. News of his death has created a burst of anger leading to numerous protests across the country. His funeral was a huge protest participated in by hundreds of thousands of people. They expressed their anger at the AKP government and its police force. But the police did not hesitate to attack the funeral as well. Many people were wounded and arrested.
Immediately after the news of Berkin’s death a two-day protest boycott was declared in many high schools and universities. KESK (Confederation of Public Employees’ Unions) and DISK (Confederation of Revolutionary Workers’ Unions) called for a work stoppage to be carried out on the day of the funeral.
The government kept referring to “social violence” as if it was not police terror that killed Berkin.
Berkin’s murderers are the police whom Erdogan called “heroes making history” and the government giving the order to attack the people. The police killed seven young people (Berkin is the eighth) and wounded thousands during the Gezi protests. Thousands of protestors are under threat of being sentenced to more than ten years in prison. Meanwhile the police is heavily protected by the government, evidence is hidden from the courts, etc.
Berkin is not the only child of ours whose life was taken by this murderer state. Those Kurdish children killed with bombs dropped by warplanes in Roboski, those Ceylans, Ugurs, Mahsums and hundreds of others killed by bombs, bullets, mines, tanks of the army and police — they are all ours…