Memorial forest to be planted in Dersim to immortalize Berkin Elvan
ISTANBUL – RadikalA forest is set to be created in the memory of Berkin Elvan in the eastern province of Tunceli, formerly known as Dersim.
Elvan died March 11, nine months after slipping into a coma after being hit by a police tear gas canister during anti-government protests. A concert will be held in the city on April 17 to raise the money needed to buy 1000 walnut trees.
Elvan, who died at the age of 15, became the prime symbol of the police violence against protesters, particularly during the Gezi protests.
Elvan’s father, Sami Elvan, said Berkin became everyone’s sibling, son or child, like all of the other children who were killed, calling for help so as to cherish his memory.
“Berkin told us ‘I could not wake up, but you should,’” said Hilmi Yarayıcı, a musician and writer who has been standing by the family since the beginning, adding that’s why they did not want Berkin’s name to be forgotten.
The concert will feature Erdal Erzincan, Mazlum Çimen, Saki Çimen, Ahmet Aslan, Erdoğan Emir, Grup Abdal, Karmate, Aydoğan Topal, Mübin Dünen and Kara Güneş, Gülay Aslan, Abdullah Demirbilek, Emre İnanan and Metin Kahraman, and is set to be held at The Mekan.
The concert aims to raise money for the memorial forest, which is also a symbol to fight against the destruction of nature through hydroelectric plant (HES) projects and stone pits in Dersim.
The 1000 walnut trees bought by income from the concert will be planted between April 19 and 21, beginning in the province of Erzincan and ending in the Ovacık district in Dersim.
The uncle of Elvan, Kenan Düzen, has donated one hectare of land for the forest in Ovacık.
“Berkin wanted to go Dersim and now this is his garden. I could not take him [Dersim], but his name is there now. This means a lot to us,” Düzen said.