As it happened: Protests over young Gezi victim Berkin Elvan's death grip Turkey
Riot police fire water cannon to disperse protesters mourning Berkin Elvan's death in Istanbul, March 11. AP photo, Emrah GÜRELSeveral demonstrations were staged in 32 provinces across Turkey to protest against the death of Berkin Elvan, the 15-year-old teenager who died earlier March 11 after spending 269 days in coma after being hit in the head by a tear gas canister during last June's Gezi Park protests.
Police resorted to tear gas and water cannon against protesters who started gathering in central Ankara.
Police also cracked down on a demonstration on Istanbul's İstiklal Avenue after refusing protesters' demand to read a statement in Taksim Square. According to daily Hürriyet, hundreds of protesters were detained in the demonstrations overnight, including 97 in Istanbul, 51 in Ankara, around 100 in İzmir, 36 in Bursa and 21 in Mersin.
Here is a roundup of this evening's protests across the country:
00:17 - A vigil is being held in front of the cemevi in the Okmeydanı neighborhood in Istanbul where Berkin Elvan's body was brought after an autopsy March 11. Elvan will be interred in Feriköy cemetery on March 12.
00:02 - At least 45 protesters have been detained in demonstrations held in Istanbul, according to media reports.
23:28 - A physically disabled man dances in front of the police barricade in İstiklal Avenue, Istanbul, in a show of protest against the crackdown.
23:21 - After Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek, EU Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu becomes the second top government official to publicly express his condolences to Berkin Elvan's family. Earlier today, Şimşek tweeted the following statement: "We have lost our dear Berkin Elvan. Our sorrow is great. I wish God's grace will be upon him and I wish patience for his family. Rest in peace."
23:13 - An electoral poster depicting Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is set on fire and used as a barricade in Ankara. (Photo source: Twitter)
23:05 - Some 1,500 protesters have demonstrated at Sınırsızlık (Infinity) Sq. in the southwestern town Muğla. Police intervened with tear gas when a group attempted to march on the ruling AKP's local headquarters. Some 22 people have been detained, according to Doğan News Agency.
22:51 - Clashes in Kadıköy, Istanbul, continue, as some 2,000 protesters refuse to disperse in the face of a police intervention near Bahariye Avenue, Hürriyet Daily News editor Stefan Martens reports from the scene.
22:42 - Intense tear gas against protesters has also disrupted normal public life in various Turkish cities. In Ankara, tear gas was fired near a bus stop and inside a metro station (Photos: Peter Nut)
...while a teargas canister fell down into a bar in Taksim, Istanbul. (Photo source: Twitter):
22:25 - A woman who fainted on İstiklal Ave. was nearly crushed by an armored police vehicle, Doğan News Agency reported. The woman was saved at the last moment as her friends screamed in fear.
22:19 - More protests are being staged in the Thracian and western coastal towns of Tekirdağ, Edirne, Çanakkale and Çeşme.
22:12 - An electronic billboard in the western city of Eskişehir, whose mayor is from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), features Berkin Elvan: "We won't forget you," the billboard reads.
22:00 - Demonstrations and vigils for Berkin Elvan are also being held abroad, including Paris, Berlin, London, Stockholm and Rotterdam. In Paris' Place de la République, mourners hold a vigil in front of a portrait of Berkin Elvan made with candles.
21:44 - A police water cannon (TOMA) in the southern city of Mersin has hit two women who were crossing the road while police were intervening against a group protesters, Doğan News Agency reported. One women was seriously injured and transferred to hospital after sustaining a head injury, the report said. Eleven protesters were detained and four officers injured during the police crackdown in the city.
21:35 - Police continue to intervene against protests in the Taksim, Beşiktaş and Feriköy neighborhoods of Istanbul.
21:27 - Police used tear gas and water cannon to prevent some 1,000 protesters in Kadıköy from marching to the local headquarters of the ruling AKP. Following the intervention, a group of protesters turned a public bus into a barricade. Police continue to resort to tear gas in order to keep the protesters away from the bull statue, a symbol of Fenerbahçe football team based in the district, which in on the road that leads to the AKP headquarters. "Because of the teargas in the air, it's hard to breath," Hürriyet Daily News editor Stefan Martens reports.
21:21 - During the crackdown against
the protesting ODTÜ students in Ankara, police used FN-303 riot gun with an
ammunition that is classified as “lethal” in several European countries, daily Hürriyet reports.
20:59 - Police temporarily retreat in Kadıköy as some protesters reportedly hurl fireworks.
20:50 - An intervention starts in Istanbul's Kadıköy neighborhood, with police using intense water cannon and tear gas against protesters, Hürriyet Daily News editor Stefan Martens reports from the scene. Around 5,000 protesters had gathered earlier near the iconic bull statue in Bahariye.
20:43 - Police are also using tear gas and water cannon against protesters who gathered in front of the Divan Hotel near the Harbiye side of Gezi Park. The hotel became famous after sheltering demonstrators during the repeated police crackdowns last summer.
20:32 - Tens of thousands of people keep protesting the Turkish government in several cities. Police have intervened in Taksim (Istanbul), Ankara, İzmir, Adana, Antalya, Denizli, Kocaeli and Mersin, according to Doğan News Agency reporters on the ground.
Demonstrations in Istanbul’s Kadıköy and Bakırköy neighborhoods, as well as those in other cities such as Eskişehir, Zonguldak, Uşak, Giresun, Samsun, Bolu and Konya have seen no police intervention so far.
20: 14 – In one of two striking images which are being shared online today, the victims of the Gezi Park protests are pictured together, showing at which age they were killed.
Another photo shot today during the protests in the Middle Eastern Technical University's (ODTÜ) campus in Ankara, a police officer is seen using tear gas even after falling on the ground.
20:02 - The police intervention continues in the side streets around Istiklal Ave. No significant police presence is yet reported in Kadıköy on the Asian side, where protesters chant slogans "We're all Berkin. You cannot eliminate us by killing us" and "Berkin Elvan is immortal."
19:35 - One protester in Adana is reportedly injured due to the effects of tear gas.
19:29 - Police start intervening with more intensity, resorting to tear gas. Meanwhile, crowds swell in Istanbul's Kadıköy and Bakırköy neighborhoods.
19:28 -Some protesters attend the demonstrations with "bloody" bread, symbolizing the Berkin Elvan's death (Photo via daily Hürriyet editor Banu Tuna).
19:28 - Hundreds of protesters march in the southern city Mersin.
19:19 - A TOMA vehicle occasionally fires pressurized water at protesters from Istanbul's pedestrian Istiklal Ave. in an effort to prevent them from marching to the iconic Taksim Sq (Photo: Reuters / Osman Orsal).
19:10 - Clashes reportedly intensify in Adana...
19:09 - In Istanbul, police reportedly announce that they will let the protesters give a press statement in Istiklal Ave., but they will not allow them to march to Taksim Sq.
19:08 - Protesters gather in the southern town of Antalya's Cumhuriyet Sq.
19:00 - People start gathering in Istanbul's Asian neighborhood of Kadıköy, one of the potential hotspots in tonight's protests.
18:56 - Protesters in the the western town of Sakarya carry banners accusing the ruling AKP government of "murdering" Berkin Elvan.
18:51 - Large crowds start to gather in the western Anatolian city of Eskişehir, where Gezi protester Ali İsmail Korkmaz was killed, as reported by journalist Tuğba Tekerek.
18:45 - Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Aylin Nazlıaka tweets that citizens in Ankara are talking with the police in an attempt to stop the intervention. "Enough. We are in mourning,” the protesters say, according to Nazlıaka.
18:41 - In the western city of Denizli some protesters hurl fireworks at the police.
18:35 - Police start using tear gas in Ankara's Kızılay Square, along with water cannon.
18:19 - Protesters march in the southeastern metropolis Diyarbakır with banners reading "For Berkin Elvan."
18:17 - Crowds start gathering in Istanbul's iconic in Taksim Sq., heart of last year's protests.
18:12 - Another demonstrations is held in Trabzon, further east in Black Sea coast and considered one of the strongholds of ruling AKP.
18:11 - Protesters in the southern metropolis Adana, start gathering at Atatürk Park for a planned demonstration.
18:09 - Over 1,000 people reportedly march in the Black Sea city of Samsun, chanting "Murderer Tayyip (Erdoğan)."
18:05 - Supported by armored vehicles, police move to disperse protesters gathered in Ankara's Kızılay Sq. in the first intervention in tonight's planned demonstrations across Turkey.
17:28 - Protesters in the eastern province of Tunceli (Dersim) are marching with torches toward the provincial office of the ruling AKP.