Berkin not only a Turkish affair Mr Davutoğlu

Berkin not only a Turkish affair Mr Davutoğlu

Anatolia Agency reported the number as hundreds of thousands as the masses marched behind the coffin of young Berkin Elvan in Istanbul on March 12.

He had died the day before, following 269 days in a coma after being shot by a tear gas canister fired by police on June 16, 2013 during the Gezi protests. Then, he was only 14, and his father said he had sent Berkin to buy some bread from the market by the corner.

In other cities of Turkey, Ankara, İzmir, Mersin, and elsewhere, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in memory of Berkin and in protest at the Tayyip Erdoğan government.

Main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu warned them of “possible provocations sourcing from the government” in order to drag them into violent acts to be used against them by Erdoğan.

All major TV stations, newspapers, and news agencies of the world were here yesterday.

The world, or the world that cares about human life and rights are talking about what has happened to this boy.


Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu was in New York yesterday to talk with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon about Turkey’s candidacy for U.N. Security Council membership for a two-year term.

Naturally, reporters asked him whether the Berkin issue had come up during his talk with Ban.

“Out of the question,” Davutoğlu replied. “This is an incident inside Turkey, an issue about which we talk among ourselves.”

Davutoğlu’s definition of the killing of Berkin during a protest as a result of police action reminded me of the case of Esma al-Biltagy.

Esma was 17 when she was killed in police action during the Adawiya Square massacre by the Egyptian police on Aug. 14, 2013, when the police brutally dispersed Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers protesting the July 3 coup that toppled President Mohamad Morsi.

Then, Turkish people cried for Esma, and many mourned for her. The prime minister shed tears on a live TV show afterward and adopted the four-finger Rabia sign as a political motive for his ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Parti). He has frequently been using the sign in his current election campaign.
Was Esma’s killing an internal affair of Egypt, if Berkin’s an internal affair of Turkey?

Then, why do all of us react in disgust when Bashar al-Assad says it was a “Syrian affair” when he is condemned for killing children there?

Are human rights violations in Myanmar an internal affair of the dictatorship there?
Of course not.


Because according to the Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, which is also signed by Turkey, human rights are superior to the sovereign rights of countries.

There is also U.N. Children’s Rights Declaration, which Turkey adopted in 1995.

And a protocol allowing individual applications to the U.N. Children’s Rights Committee was signed by Davutoğlu himself in 2012.

According to those documents, all human beings below the age of 18 are considered children and all bad things happening to them are the affairs of the world, not the internal affairs of sovereign countries.

So even if Mr. Davutoğlu says it was out of question to talk about Berkin’s killing outside of Turkey, the people of the caring world are talking about it.

It is not right to shed tears only for Esma and not for Berkin. In particular, it would not befit Davutoğlu; I know how much he cares for children. If not, someone could ask some day whether it is power that has caused the change.

About Turkey’s U.N. Security Council membership? God willing, Erdoğan will get it.