Protester’s father has right to know why son fell: Turkish interior minister
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet
Witnesses and activists claimed that Ahmet Atakan was hit in head by a tear gas canister while police said he had fallen from a building. DHA photoThe father of Ahmet Atakan, a 22-year-old protester killed Sept. 10 during protests in Hatay, has the right to ask why his son allegedly fell from a high building on that night, Turkish Interior Minister Muammer Güler has said, adding that an investigation is ongoing.
Atakan participated in a demonstration on Sept. 10 in support of students protesting against the construction of a road through Ankara’s Middle East Technical University’s (ODTÜ) campus.
Footage from a local camera appeared to show Atakan had fallen from a building at the moment a police vehicle passed by on the street.
“It is for certain that Atakan has fallen according to the camera footage. There is no intervention from the police vehicle. But we are investigation something else now,” said Güler, adding that they were investigating why and how he had fallen from the building.
“We are searching for whether there is anything behind this incident. It will be revealed soon,” he added.
Despite Güler’s claim, an initial medical report suggested that Atakan had received a blunt blow to the head consistent with a police gas canister. An initial autopsy also showed Atakan did not break his arms or legs in the incident, leading many to suspect he did not fall from a building.
Atakan is the sixth protester killed in anti-government protests in Turkey this summer, after Abdullah Cömert (22), Ali İsmail Korkmaz (19), Ethem Sarısülük (26), Mehmet Ayvalıtaş (20) and Medeni Yıldırım (18). Police officer Mustafa Sarı also died after falling from a bridge while pursuing fleeing protesters in Adana.
Atakan’s death sparked outrage and triggered fresh protests in the main Turkish cities, including Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir.