Police gas canister leaves student in severe condition at May Day
ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
Dilan Alp was taken to the Taksim First Aid Hospital where she underwent surgery that lasted hours. Her situation is said to be critical. DHA photoA 17-year-old high school student was heavily wounded by a police gas canister during today’s May Day celebrations in Istanbul, as authorities fought day-long battles with protesters intent on reaching Taksim Square despite an official prohibition.
Dilan Alp, who was with a small group, was struck in the head by a gas canister fired by police as she was trying to escape a barrage by authorities. Video has emerged showing her lying unconsciously in front of an apartment where she was trying to take refuge after being hit as tear gas spreads from the canister right in front of her face.
Alp was safely brought into the apartment building by friends just before police officers could capture her. Witnesses said Alp had trouble breathing due to the effects of the tear gas and that her head was bleeding.
She was immediately taken to the Taksim First Aid Hospital where she underwent surgery that lasted hours. Her situation is said to be critical.
She fell from the stairs: Police’s version
After hearing the news, pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputies Sırrı Süreyya Önder and Sabahat Tuncel visited the wounded student. Önder told reporters that the group chased by the police consisted of only seven young students.
“Police used the canister of the tear gas as a bullet. It exploded right on [Alp’s] head. The Police Department said in a statement that she fell from the stairs. If something happens to her, we will hold the person who made that statement responsible,” Önder said.
Tuncer also excoriated the police for its attitude during the demonstrations. “Dozens of our friends have been injured. We have faced state terrorism. [Alp’s] situation is critical. She is supposed to sit the [university entrance] test. We wish her a speedy recovery,” she said.
Istanbul Gov. Hüseyin Avni Mutlu, meanwhile, claimed that one of those who suffered head trauma was injured because of stones thrown by groups marking May Day.
He also added that three civilians who were wounded amid the police violence were members of “marginal groups.”