Police clash with protesters marching for 14-year-old Gezi victim in Istanbul
ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
DHA PhotoPolice clashed on Sept. 9 with a group of protesters gathered in the Okmeydanı neighborhood of Istanbul in support of 14-year-old Berkin Elvan, who has been in a coma since mid-June when he was struck by a tear gas capsule fired by police during the Gezi protests.
The group gathered again in the evening hours in Okmeydanı after the police had earlier in the day prevented protesters from marching toward the Istanbul Courthouse in Çağlayan.
Clashes are continuing between police and protesters as of 10:30 p.m.
Protesters are demanding that the police officers responsible for injuring Elvan on June 16 be brought to trial.
Police initially warned the protesters that the march was illegal, then fired tear gas to disperse people after some masked people emerged from side streets to throw Molotov cocktails and rocks.
Clashes in Ankara
Clashes between protesters and the police also occured in a number of different districts in Ankara.
Police intervened with anti-riot vehicles against demonstrators who had set up barricades.
Elvan was not a protester but a bystander who was attacked after stepping out to buy bread during a police intervention in the neighborhood, which is famous as an anti-government stronghold.
On Aug. 21, Amnesty International issued a call to Turkish authorities to launch a fair investigation to determine the police officer responsible for firing the tear gas capsule that struck Elvan.
Five people have died and thousands have been injured since the Gezi protests erupted in late May, when Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality attempted to cut down trees in Taksim’s iconic park, sparking anger in Istanbul and cities around the country.