Police fire water cannon at group gathered to commemorate slain student in Taksim
ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
Istanbul police is taking tight security measures during weekend evenings in the surroundings of İstiklal Avenue and the Taksim area since the Gezi events. DHA photo
A fresh demonstration in Istanbul’s Galatasaray Square on İstiklal Avenue, a spot where activists frequently gather to stage protests, was once again met with police intervention on the evening of Dec. 6.
A group of students gathered to commemorate the anniversary of the death of Aydın Erdem, a 23-year-old protester who was shot by the police during a demonstration in Diyarbakır in 2009.
The police, who take tight security measures during weekend evenings in the surroundings of İstiklal Avenue and the Taksim area since the Gezi events, refused a petition from the demonstrators to march to Taksim Square. They ultimately resorted to water cannons as the group proceeded with their demonstration.
Police officers chased protesters after they dispersed to the alleys and streets connecting to İstiklal Avenue.
The controversy on Erdem’s death lingers as the court ruled the four police officers who opened fire did not aim at the slain protester, but fired in the air. An Interior Ministry investigation found the young man “heavily faulty” for taking part in an “illegal protest.”
Erdem, a student enrolled at Dicle University, was participating in a demonstration organized by the Democratic Society Party (DTP, which was succeeded by the Peace and Democracy Party after being closed by the Constitutional Court) to denounce military operations in southeastern Turkey. Five other university students who took part in the protest were sentenced between seven and 17 years in prison.
Lawyers representing Erdem’s family took the case to the European Court of Human Rights after losing the appeal.