Mother says still looking for justice on 10th anniversary of Berkin Elvan’s death

The mother of Berkin Elvan, a teenager who was struck in the head with a gas canister fired by a police officer during the anti-government Gezi Park protests in İstanbul in 2013 and subsequently succumbed to his injuries, has said justice remains elusive 10 years after her son’s death.

“I’m calling on the murderers: Remember my child every time you hug yours,” Gülsüm Elvan said.

Elvan died on March 11, 2014 after remaining in a coma for 269 days. He was 14 when the police officer shot him in the head with a tear gas canister and 15 when he passed away.

He was commemorated at his grave in the Şişli Feriköy Cemetery on Monday.

Gülsüm Elvan, who held then-prime minister and current president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan responsible for Berkin’s death because he ordered the police to use excessive force to suppress the protests, was attacked by Erdoğan at a public rally in 2014. Erdoğan branded Berkin a terrorist and let the crowd to boo the woman.

Last year the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Turkey had violated Elvan’s right to life. The court also said Turkey failed to conduct an effective investigation into government officials’ possible roles in the death of the teenager.

Turkey has only convicted one police officer, Fatih Dalgalı, sentencing him to 17 years in prison for causing Elvan’s death.

The Elvan family was represented by lawyer Can Atalay, who has recently been denied release from prison despite gaining a seat in parliament in last year’s elections. Atalay was kept behind bars in disregard of repeated Constitutional Court orders for his release.

Atalay had said none of the murder suspects except one had stood trial in the Elvan case.

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