Berkin Elvan’s family demands 1 million liras in compensation from Interior Ministry
ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
AA PhotoThe family of Gezi victim Berkin Elvan, who died after spending 269 days in a coma after being hit by a tear gas canister during the 2013 Gezi Park protests, has demanded 1 million Turkish Liras in compensation from the Interior Ministry on the grounds that it was at fault for the killing of the 15-year-old.
The lawyers of Elvan’s family delivered a 12-page petition to the ministry, demanding 400,000 liras in material damages and 200,000 liras in moral damages to be paid to Elvan’s father and mother. His two sisters have also asked for 400,000 liras in moral damages.
The petition stated that the loss of Berkin was not something measurable with money for his family, but compensation was a way of accepting the responsibility according to the Turkish laws. It added that the ministry taking responsibility and revealing the names of the murderers was more important than money for the family.
The state violated its commitment to not kill and it also eliminated the environment that prevented killings, the lawyers said, underlining that the state was responsible for the murder of Elvan, who died from injuries sustained by a tear gas canister fired by police.
The petition also stated that the parents and siblings of Elvan watched him dying desperately and the family’s sorrow increased after “propaganda” against them was made by statesmen. That “propaganda” was an apparent reference to an election rally last year held as the youngster was still struggling to survive, when then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan encouraged his supporters to boo Elvan’s family, calling him a “terrorist.”
Lawyers have accused the ministry of protecting Elvan’s murderers, as no suspects have been put on trial yet. The administration has not given the names of the police officers involved in the killing, despite knowing their identities, they said.
One year on
Berkin Elvan was 14 when he was hit by a police teargas canister in Istanbul on June 16, 2013, as anti-government demonstrations swept Turkey.
He turned 15 while still unconscious but failed to recover from his injuries and died two months after his birthday, on March 11, 2014. His death triggered nationwide protests in Turkey, as the policeman who shot him remains free.