Protesters run as riot police fires a water cannon during a demonstration in Ankara, March 11. REUTERS photo
Turkish police have staged a fresh crackdown on protests in the main cities of the country over the death of Berkin Elvan, a 15-year-old protester who was fatally injured by a teargas canister last June and died early March 11 after 269 days in a coma.
Thousands gathered in demonstrations reminiscent of the nationwide Gezi protests last summer to mourn the teenager who has since become the prime symbol of police brutality.
Elvan’s became the eighth fatal victim of the protests. Five protesters, Mehmet Ayvalıtaş, Abdullah Cömert, Ethem Sarısülük, Ali İsmail Korkmaz and Ahmet Atakan, died directly as a result of crackdowns on the Gezi protests last summer. Two others are also counted as part of the Gezi victims, including Medeni Yıldırım, who was shot during a demonstration against the building of a new gendarmerie post in Diyarbakır’s Lice district, and Hasan Ferit Gedik, a leftist protester who was murdered by drug gangs in September 2013 in the Gülsuyu neighborhood of Istanbul's Maltepe district.