Woman killed on balcony as police clash with protesters in Istanbul
ISTANBULA woman has been killed after being shot while watching clashes between police and protesters in the working-class and predominantly Alevi neighborhood of Gazi in Istanbul’s Sultangazi district.
The woman, identified as Pınar Gemsiz, was on her balcony when riot police intervened against a group protesting in Gazi on the night of May 15.
A bullet from the clashes hit Gemsiz while she was on the balcony and she was rushed to the Taksim Training and Research Hospital in the neighboring Gaziosmanpaşa district, where she succumbed to her injuries.
An investigation has been launched into the death of the woman, who is married with one child.
The site of the incident, Gazi neighborhood, is predominantly populated by Alevis and is often a site of protests.
In 1995 it witnessed mass demonstrations after 23 people were killed over four days of unrest, 17 of them by police bullets, according to forensic reports.
The events, known as the Gazi riots, were triggered after unidentified assailants randomly opened fire on people in a local coffeehouse in March 1995, wounding dozens and killing two, one of them an Alevi religious leader.
Locals, who blamed the deaths on an inadequate police response, overran police stations and started a brief uprising that was only contained after soldiers were deployed in place of the police.