Actor fired for taking part in video commemorating Gezi victim
ISTANBULAn actor playing in a TV series screened on Turkey’s main state broadcaster has been laid off, after he took part in a video clip commemorating a teenager whose 2013 death in anti-government demonstrations mobilized opposition to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Hamit Demir, who was playing in the TV series “Diriliş Ertuğrul” on the TRT 1 station, was dismissed by the producer for appearing appeared in a short film commemorating the one-year anniversary of the death of Berkin Elvan, a young Gezi protest victim,.
The film was shot with the motto “Stop life on March 11 for Berkin,” calling for action on the one-year anniversary of Elvan’s death. The film was also shown during a commemoration ceremony in Istanbul’s Okmeydanı neighborhood, where Elvan was shot dead.
Elvan was 14 when he was fatally injured by the police and fell into a coma after being struck by a tear gas canister while he was buying bread in Istanbul’s Okmeydanı neighborhood on June 16, 2013, during the Gezi protests. He turned 15 while unconscious but failed to recover from his injuries and died two months after his birthday, on March 11, 2014.
Demir issued a statement after being laid off, describing it as a “disciplining” move.
“The hand of the government, which has reached me, I believe aims to ‘discipline’ us (all opponents, scientists, artists, etc.) by leaving us unemployed and starving,” he stated.
“I can only be proud of being part of this video,” Demir added.
The series “Diriliş Ertuğrul” tells the story of Ertuğrul Gazi, the father of the founder of the Ottoman Empire, Osman Gazi, in Anatolia in the 13th century.