Two dead amid protests after Gezi victim Berkin Elvan’s funeral sweep Turkey
An armoured police vehicle drives through a barricade on fire during a demonstration in Istanbul March 12. REUTERS photoProtests sparked across Turkey following the police intervention into mourners of Berkin Elvan after the 15-year-old’s March 12 funeral in Istanbul have left two dead and hundreds injured.
A young man was killed during a clash in Istanbul while a police officer died in the eastern province of Tunceli, allegedly due to the effect of teargas.
The Istanbul Governor’s Office has confirmed that 22-year-old Burak Can Karamanoğlu died near Istanbul’s Kurtuluş neighborhood, where a severe police crackdown was staged throughout the evening.
“A youngster identified as Burak Can Karamanoğlu died after a verbal scuffle between two groups turned into a fight in which firearms were used,” a statement from the Istanbul Governor’s Office said. Two people were also injured in the incident, the statement added.
With much speculation surrounding the incident, ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Istanbul branch chair Aziz Babuşçu said no police officers were in the area when the fight erupted.
Burak Can Karamanoğlu (L), 22,, and police
officer Ahmet Küçüktağ, 31, died as protests
sparked across the country over Berkin
Elvan's death, March 12. DHA photos
Meanwhile, in Tunceli, police officer Ahmet Küçüktağ died after he reportedly fainted inside a police car. Doctors at the Tunceli State Hospital said Küçüktağ’s health condition worsened due to the effects of intense teargas used by the police against protesters, which was subsequently denied by the police chief.
“False rumors are spread, according to which Küçüktağ died due to the effect of teargas. Our institution has not received such information. In addition, members of his team working together said they did not enter anywhere that required the wearing of gas masks,” said Tunceli police chief Hayati Yılmaz.
Earlier in the day in Istanbul’s Okmeydanı neighborhood, thousands had flocked to Berkin Elvan’s funeral procession.
The youngster died on March 11 after 269 days in coma, after sustaining a head injury from a gas canister as he went to buy bread during a police crackdown in Okmeydanı last June.