15-year-old Gezi protest victim commemorated in İstanbul

Berkin Elvan, who was hit by a tear gas canister during the Gezi Park protests of 2013 and died  in 2014 after spending 269 days in a coma, was commemorated at his grave in İstanbul on Monday, Bianet reported.

Elvan’s family and the Taksim Solidarity Group had previously released an invitation that said: “It has been five full years since we lost our Berkin, a child of hope. As the family of Berkin Elvan and Taksim Solidarity, we are commemorating our Berkin at Feriköy Cemetery.”

Mısra Öz Sel, the mother of Oğuz Arda Sel, who died in a train derailment in Çorlu at the age of  9, also attended the commemoration.

Last month an expert report submitted during a hearing on Elvan’s killing identified police officer Fatih Dalgalı, one of the suspects standing trial, as the person who had fired a tear gas canister at Elvan after a series of examinations conducted on video footage of the incident.

A lawyer for the Elvan family demanded Dalgalı be put under arrest since the expert report exposed the fact that he deliberately took aim at the 15-year-old. The court, however, did not rule for arrest. 

The Gezi Park protests were started by a group of environmentalists protesting the destruction of the park to resurrect a historic building and erect a shopping mall in the area.

After police used excessive violence against the protesters, thousands of people gathered in Taksim Square, where Gezi Park is located, and turned the demonstration into a massive protest against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The İstanbul 30th High Criminal Court accepted an indictment that demands an aggravated life sentence for human rights activist and philanthropist Osman Kavala as well as 15 other suspects for their alleged roles in the Gezi protests, on March 4, 2019.

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