7-year-old boy shot with tear gas canister in Istanbul
Fırat Alkaç – ISTANBUL
HÜRRİYET photoA 7-year-old boy has been wounded by a tear gas canister fired by a police officer in Istanbul’s Küçükçekmece district during a demonstration in protest of the deadly Suruç bombing early this week which left 32 people dead and more than 100 others injured.
Mustafa Gökalp Düşün was injured when he was hit in both the head and the leg by a tear gas canister fired by a police officer around 10:00 p.m. on July 20 when the 7-year-old and his mother, Yeter Düşün, were outside their apartment building in Küçükçekmece. The boy was taken to a hospital in the Bağcılar district after initial treatment for fear of a cerebral hemorrhage, but he was reported to be in good condition.
The victim’s mother said she and her son happened to get caught up in a clash between protesters and the police while the two were entering their apartment building on the way back from a visit to relatives, and that she would sue the police officer who she said fired tear gas at them from a distance of 20 meters.
“We were about to enter our apartment building as we walked back from a visit to our relatives living only two streets away. All of a sudden, a clash erupted in our street as the police were clashing with protesters.
The police were about 20 meters away from us. They fired tear gas at us. It was so hard to breathe out of the intense tear gas. Then I saw my son lying down on the ground with a tear gas canister stuck on his leg,” she said.
She immediately told her husband, Hacı Ömer Düşün, of the incident, she said, adding ambulances could not enter the neighborhood because of the clashes and they had to take the injured boy to the hospital in a taxi. She also said she kept the tear gas canister in a plastic bag and would sue the police officer who she said fired it.
The victim’s father, who works as a cleaner at a private health clinic, said he grabbed and carried the boy to a taxi since ambulances were unable to enter their street.
“I asked the police for help while carrying my son, but they did not respond,” he said.
Protests have continued for days in Istanbul and elsewhere across the country after a suicide bombing attack in the southeastern border town of Suruç on July 20 which left at least 32 people dead and more than 100 others injured.
The Suruç bombing has elicited sorrow and rage from several parties and spurred protests across the country, with people taking to the streets to protest the deadly attack.