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LOCAL > Footage emerges allegedly showing protester who died in Hatay falling from building

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Witnesses and activists claimed that Atakan was hit in head by a tear gas canister while police said he had fallen from a building. DHA video

Witnesses and activists claimed that Atakan was hit in head by a tear gas canister while police said he had fallen from a building. DHA video

Footage that allegedly shows a protester falling from a building in the southern province of Hatay appeared in some Turkish media outlets on Sept. 10,

The reports on the footage say it shows protester Ahmet Atakan, 22, who passed away in the early hours of the same day in Antakya's flash-point neighborhood of Armutlu. Witnesses and activists claimed that Atakan was hit in head by a tear gas canister fired by the police. 

Atakan had taken part in a demonstration in support of students protesting against the construction of a road in Ankara's Middle Eastern Technical University (ODTÜ).

The police released a statement claiming they had footage from a local camera indicating that Atakan had fallen from a building, and that no police intervention was visible.

State-run Anadolu Agency also claimed that it had footage showing Atakan falling and rolling on the ground, as well as footage of stones and a water tank being thrown onto police vehicles from the roofs.

According to daily Radikal, however, Atakan's preliminary autopsy report stated that there was a 6x5cm bruise (ecchymose) on the left side of his skull and no fractured bones in his body. The report also stated that were a number of bruises on Atakan's body, none of them major, and that 1.1 liters of blood had been emptied from his lungs during first aid at Antakya State Hospital.

He is the sixth protester killed in anti-government protests in Turkey this summer, after Abdullah Cömert (22), Ali İsmail Korkmaz (19), Ethem Sarısülük (26), Mehmet Ayvalıtaş (20) and Medeni Yıldırım (18). Police officer Mustafa Sarı also died after falling from a bridge while pursuing fleeing protesters in Adana.

Atakan's death has sparked outrage and triggered fresh protests in the main Turkish cities, including Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir. 



September/10/2013

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