Thousands march for youngest Gezi victim
Thousands of people in Istanbul have marched to mark the first anniversary of the death of the youngest victim of the Gezi Park protests.
Berkin Elvan was 14 when he was hit by a police teargas canister in Istanbul on June 16, 2013, as anti-government demonstrations swept Turkey.
He turned 15 while still unconscious but failed to recover from his injuries and died two months after his birthday, on March 11, 2014. His death triggered nationwide protests in Turkey, as the policeman who shot him remains free.
"Throughout the past 12 years that the AKP [Justice and Development Party] ruled the country, hundreds of kids, younger than 18, have been killed in the streets," Peoples' Democracy Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş said at the remembrance ceremony for Elvan at the Okmeydanı Cemevi on March 7.
"The Prime Minister and the President of this country has never voiced their sorrow even for one of those kids," he added.
After the ceremony, thousands of people walked to the spot where Elvan was reportedly shot when going to buy bread in the Okmeydanı neighborhood. They then marched to the cemetery.
Police cordoned off the area, closing several streets to traffic, as mourners marched somberly with water cannons following them for a possible intervention.
Berkin Elvan's mother and father told the story of their son's grave in a written statement on March 6, noting that the new marble and glass work, which has several references to the Gezi protests, has been crafted by artisans from all the regions of Turkey, including an Alevi, a Syriac Christian, an Armenian and a Jewish master.
Gülsüm Elvan, the mother of the youngest Gezi victim, with the sculpture depicting her son and a bread.