Prosecutors brand bread brandished for Gezi victim ‘provocation’

Prosecutors brand bread brandished for Gezi victim ‘provocation’

Prosecutors brand bread brandished for Gezi victim ‘provocation’

Protesters used bread as a symbol to commemorate Bekin Elvan's death. DHA Photo

Prosecutors have accused students who brandished bread during a demonstration at Denizli’s Pamukkale University to mourn young Gezi victim Berkin Elvan after his death in March 2014 of "provocation," in the indictment as part of the investigation into the protests.

Elvan was struck by a tear gas canister in the middle of a police crackdown in Istanbul’s restive Okmeydanı neighborhood as he was going to buy bread June 16, 2013. He succumbed to his wounds on March 11, 2014 after 269 days in a coma, and his funeral became one of the biggest demonstrations in Turkey’s recent history.

Some 65 students are currently facing trial for their attendance in the demonstrations, which were held nationwide as a spontaneous reaction prompted by outrage against Elvan’s death. At the time, many took to the streets holding loaves of bread in their hands.

The indictment said the loaves of bread were “tools to provoke the crowds” because they symbolized Elvan. It also considered masks to used protect against police tear gas as evidence.

Prosecutors have also decided it was not necessary to open an investigation into the police officers accused of injuring and insulting protesters in Denizli.

Meanwhile, the officer who fired the fatal canister at Elvan has yet to be identified, but the trial has made progress after several pieces of footage emerged showing the incident.