Silent sit-down protests spread across Turkey in memory of Berkin Elvan
The demonstration in central Ankara is growing as many people join protesters although police have attacked students in other parts of the city.People across Turkey are gathering to stage demonstrations in memory of the eighth victim of the Gezi Park protests, 15-year-old Berkin Elvan, who died early March 11 after 269 days in a coma.
Demonstrations first started in Ankara with one protester sitting alone with a loaf of bread and a sign reading “I am Berkin” in the central Kızılay district. The protest grew as many people joined him, silently sitting on the steps of the city's Güven Park.
Similar protests are also being held in several cities including Istanbul, Antalya and İzmir.
Students in a number of high schools and universities are also boycotting their classes. In addition, shopkeepers in Istanbul’s Okmeydanı neighborhood, where Elvan’s family lives, have closed their the shutters in a show of support.
Students at Ankara's Middle Eastern Technical University (ODTÜ), who have been steadfast in resisting in the government, declared a boycott before setting off on a march for Kızılay. Police, however, attacked the peaceful marchers on the Eskişehir Road with at least two water cannon (TOMAs).
Elvan went into a coma after sustaining a head injury from a gas canister as he went to buy bread during a police crackdown in Okmeydanı on June 16. He turned 15 last January while in coma.