New probe launched into Berkin Elvan’s death after new witnesses testify
ANKARA / Hürriyet
Interior Minister Efkan Ala said that a new investigation has been launched following testimonies from new witnesses. AA PhotoA new investigation has been launched into the death of Gezi victim Berkin Elvan following testimonies from new witnesses, Interior Minister Efkan Ala has said.
As a part of the probe, four new witnesses testified after Elvan, who spent 269 days in a coma due to a head injury from a gas canister during protests in June 2013, died March 11. Some 18 police officers were previously questioned.
Ala said an investigation was continuing into the deaths of both Elvan and Burak Can Karamanoğlu, who was killed in Istanbul’s Okmeydanı neighborhood late March 12 by a gunshot on the sidelines of a police crackdown on protesters mourning the death of Elvan.
One of the witnesses, a 14-year-old friend of Elvan, reportedly said he clearly saw a police officer fire the canister directly at Elvan, underlining the 14-year-old victim was going to buy bread. He could not identify the policeman because he was wearing a helmet. A lawyer, Sinan Zincir, also testified, saying he heard a child screaming “mother” and run away holding his head. Zincir added he could not identify the police or clearly describe what wounded Elvan due to the intensive tear gas in the air.
Other witnesses, 18-year-old Ö.K. and 38-year-old S.Y., both said Elvan was going out to buy bread.
“Berkin put his hands up and shouted to the police ‘I am going to buy bread. Enough, don’t shoot [tear gas].’” Ö.K. reportedly said. The witness added he saw a policeman instruct another and that Elvan was shot by the latter.