Forgive us Berkin!
Was it the 16-kilogram small body of the slain boy or was it the tears pouring from the eyes of his mother and mothers all across the country, as is said “a huge bull sat on my chest” while following the funeral of Berkin Elvan. I waited in desperation to hear from, if not the prime minister himself some junior member of Parliament, at the very least the minister in charge of family affairs to come up with a message of condolences and assurance that the policeman who fired the shot at Berkin will be identified, captured and sent to court.
Alas, the country was mourning for its slain small son and was accused by a former minister of suffering from necrophilia. Has that minister never lost any one dear to him? Indeed he did, not long ago, just before he was promoted from a Washington office to the precious “advisor to the Mr. Absolute Power” and thus saw himself elevated to politics and fortune, he lost his very dear brother… He must have been aware of what losing someone of a young age is. In the case of Berkin, he was just 14. He had no fatal illness, was not involved in any crime, forget about shoeboxes filled with generous gratuity of some local and foreign businessmen, he did not have a pair of shoes other than what he had on his feet. Despite the horrendous gassing and excessive use of police on protestors, rather than letting his mother, who had some pain in her leg, he said “I run better, let me go and buy bread.”
Why did he think he could run faster? He was over 45 kilograms, fit. He, of course, could run better than a mother with an injured leg. If there were police attacks in the neighborhood, he had the youthful energy and proactive spirit to escape. He could not escape. A policeman aimed at him, fired the gas canister. He was hit in the head and went deep into a coma, confined to an emergency unit of a hospital. He continued to struggle. He lost two thirds of his weight, went down to 16 kilograms. Finally, he could not struggle any further and passed away.
The “Mr. Absolute Power” of the country who has been so humane, affectionate and so cared about the sons of daughters of Islamist zealots anywhere in the world and he was even so saddened about girl who was murdered by sniper fire at Tahrir Square in Egypt that he not only shed tears for her, but expressed his condolences at a huge rally.
Didn’t Berkin deserve some affection? He was out to buy a loaf of bread and was brutally killed by an officious policeman. He was 14 when he was fired at. Hundreds of thousands of Turkish people of all ethnicities, colors and religious groups poured onto the streets to express their grief at losing a son.
Policemen even attacked those mourning people, liberally pouring on them the rage of the bald, bold, ever angry man eager to become an absolute ruler. What would he lose if, instead of ordering police to attack, he were to take a pen and write to Berkin’s family “My condolences?” Would he be a lesser prime minister? Would he be a lesser man?
Is it not sad for a prime minister, ministers and former ministers to see that Turkey has become a very dangerous country to send adolescents to buy bread from the nearby grocery or bakery? Is it not sad that the government of this country is affectionate to people of other countries, but apparently is full of anger and greed against some sections of the Turkish people? Is it not sad that this country has failed in providing the fundamental right, the right to live to Berkin?
For God’s sake, doesn’t Berkin deserve a “Sorry son, we made a mistake” confession from the premier? Don’t Berkin’s parents deserve “My condolences” messages from the government?
Tears in my eyes, a bull is sitting on my chest… Forgive us Berkin!