Police officer faces life in jail for killing Gezi protester Berkin Elvan
ISTANBULAn indictment regarding the killing of Gezi victim Berkin Elvan has been prepared after nearly three years of investigation, with the prosecutor saying the police officer had “probable intent” in killing him.
Elvan, then 14, became a symbol of the 2013 Gezi Park protests after he was shot by a tear gas canister fired by police in June 2013. He died in March 2014 after 269 days in a coma.
The prosecutor’s office sought life sentence for the suspect police officer, identified only by the initials as F.D., who said he does not remember if he fired a gas canister or not during the incident.
The 11-page indictment, which was prepared by the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office’s Employee Crimes Investigation Bureau, was sent to the Istanbul 17th Court of Serious Crimes. Elvan’s parents were named as complainants, while F.D. is the only suspect in the indictment after proceeding were not pursued against 42 other suspect police officers.
F.D. said in his testimony that he was assigned to work in Istanbul’s Okmeydanı neighborhood on the day of the incident and had the weapon that fired gas canisters with him as part of his duty.
While claiming that they were intervening as police officers against protesters who were trying to block a road, F.D. said he did not remember what happened during the events in question.
Meanwhile, allegations that Elvan, who had stepped out to buy bread for his mother when he was struck with the gas canister, was carrying 11 explosives in his pocket were also included in the indictment.
The previous prosecutor of the investigation file, Mehmet Selim Kiraz, was killed in his office after being taken hostage by members of the outlawed far-left group the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C). Kiraz and his two captors were killed in a firefight with police. The file then was transferred to prosecutor İsa Dalgıç.
Elvan’s funeral in Istanbul’s Şişli district was attended by around 100,000 people.