Blood-stained tear gas canister delivered to investigation into protester's death
HATAY - Doğan News Agency
The tear gas canister was found by residents of the Armutlu neighborhood near a drainage grid in the street where Ahmet Atakan succumbed to his wounds on Sept. 10. DHA photoA tear gas canister containing blood stains and hair was delivered to prosecutors in Hatay Sept. 13 by the family of a protester who died during a demonstration.
The canister was found by residents of the Armutlu neighborhood near a drainage grid in the street where Ahmet Atakan succumbed to his wounds on Sept. 10.
Conflicting reports over the circumstances of the death of the 22-year old, who was participating in a demonstration supporting the protests of students in Ankara against the construction of a road through the Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ), have raised tensions.
Witnesses claimed that Atakan was struck in the head by a tear gas canister while police maintained that he had fallen from a building. The incident had also triggered fresh protests in Istanbul, Ankara and other main cities.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Refik Eryılmaz, who helped Atakan’s family to deliver the tear gas canister to prosecutors, said that lab tests will compare the blood and hair samples found on the projectile with those of Atakan.
“The prosecutor has called the provincial gendarmerie units who were in charge of the investigation and requested an analysis of the capsule,” Eryılmaz said, adding that he became involved upon the family’s request.
“Young people from the neighborhood delivered the canister to the family. Then the family called me to ask what they should do. So I took the family with me and we went to the public prosecutor’s office,” Eryılmaz said, regarding his own involvement.
Atakan is the sixth protester to be killed during protests in Turkey this summer, after the deaths of 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.