Prosecutor seeks two years in jail for policeman who praised Berkin Elvan’s killing
Berkin Elvan, then 14, was injured June 16, 2013, as he went out to buy bread in his neighborhood of Okmeydanı despite ongoing clashes with police.A prosecutor has demanded two years in jail for a police officer who praised the officer who fired the tear-gas canister that struck and killed Berkin Elvan during last year’s Gezi protests in Istanbul.
Elvan, then 14, was injured June 16, 2013, as he went out to buy bread in his neighborhood of Okmeydanı, despite clashes with the police. He eventually died March 11 after spending over nine months in a coma, triggering massive public outrage.
The officer, identified only as U.Ç., reacted the same day to the cancelations of police officers’ leave over potential protests by insulting Elvan and praising the officer’s actions on his personal Facebook account. “I kiss the hands of the riot police who fired at your head … that’s how they f*** your mother you son of a b**** if you go to buy bread like that,” U.Ç. wrote on his personal account.
The 4th Istanbul Court of Serious Crimes in Bakırköy quashed a previous judgment that had ruled that there was no need for an investigation, opening a lawsuit on charges of “praising a crime and a criminal.” The first hearing of the trial is set to be held Dec. 23.
Elvan became the eighth and youngest protester to die as a result of the brutal police crackdown in waves of protests that spread following the demonstrations against the destruction of Gezi Park. The police have been accused of protecting the officers responsible for Elvan’s death, while the young Gezi victim’s lawyer has released video footage and photographs hoping to shed light on the killing.