Relatives of Gezi victims optimistic about Amnesty International report

Relatives of Gezi victims optimistic about Amnesty International report

Deniz Çiyan ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
Relatives of Gezi victims optimistic about Amnesty International report

Relatives of people who died in Gezi rallies attend a commemoration. AA photo

An injured man and relatives of protesters left dead or injured as a result of excessive police force during the Gezi Park protests were present at Amnesty International’s announcement of a report on the Turkish authorities’ human rights violations during the protests.

Zafer Cömert, brother of 22-year-old Abdullah Cömert, who was killed in Antakya on June 3, when a tear-gas canister hit his head, told the Hürriyet Daily News that the report was important. However, he does not expect the report to put pressure on the government.

“Amnesty International’s call to ban the export of tear gas just hung in the air, as the government announced that it would start producing its own tear gas. The pressure on the government needs to be stronger and more convincing,” said Cömert, adding that an official condemnation from Europe would be a more effective way.

Speech in Europe

He also said they would be going on a 15 day trip to various cities in Europe, together with the families of the Gezi Park victims. During the trip they will give a speech at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, attend forums, and also file an application to the European Court of Human Rights.

Sami Elvan, the father of 14-year-old Berkin Elvan, who has been in a coma since mid-June, after being struck by a tear gas capsule fired by police during protests in Istanbul, said that he hoped the government would act on the report’s suggestions.

He said that what he wished for most was to find the person responsible for his son’s current state.

“We want the people who murdered Berkin and his fellow brothers to serve the sentence that corresponds with their crimes ... I am here to find the murderer of my son,” he said.

Hakan Yaman, a 37-year-old father of two, was injured by the police’s beatings near his houe in Istanbul’s Sarıgazi neighborhood while he was returning from work. He believes the report would have an effect on the government’s policy towards the Gezi Park victims. Yaman’s wife, Nihal Yaman, said she hoped the report would have an important impact, but what was more significant for them was to be supported. “The report is very important for us. It is a substantial support coming from outside. We feel we are not alone, otherwise we would have been less hopeful,” she said.