Police have fired tear gas on mourners who were waiting in front of the Istanbul Forensic Medicine Institute following the death of lawyer Ebru Timtik late on Aug. 27.
Timtik lost her life after a failure of her heart on the 238th day of her death fast. She was on hunger strike since February 2020, with the demand to be tried fairly.
Following the autopsy at the forensic institute, the police, without asking the family members, took away Timtik's body on Aug. 28 afternoon. Mourners who protested the police have faced teargas.
Timtik's body was initially scheduled to be taken to the Istanbul Bar Association for a press meeting to be held there, but the police did not allow this.
Timtik's body was later taken to the Gazi Cemevi, an Alevi place of worship. Armored water cannons TOMAs positioned themselves in front of the cemevi. The police only allowed the relatives of Timtik and lawyers into the place.
Following the ceremony at the cemevi, the police officers again did not allow Timtik's relatives to carry the coffin, and instead took it themselves on an armored vehicle to the Gazi Cemetery. Those who protested this again faced police violence.
Amidst a chanting of anti-government slogans, Timtik's body was buried.
At a separate commemoration ceremony held in front of the Istanbul Bar Association building, people chanted slogans of “Ebru Timtik is immortal” and “Revolutionary lawyers are our whole life.”
Lawyers here read a message sent by Istanbul Bar Association head Mehmet Durakoğlu. “A unjust decision has been given for Ebru Timtik and other colleagues. Not being able to defend the struggle for rights is worse than death. Everyone should know that this death could have been prevented,” Durakoğlu said in his message.
Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD) co-chair Ayşe Acinikli said during the ceremony it is a shame that none of the government officials, including Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül, has commented on Timtik's death. She said that it is still not late to save lawyer Aytaç Ünsal, who is currently hospitalized with a similar demand for a right to a fair trial.
Ünsal meanwhile sent a message from the hospital for Timtik, saying: “My dear friend, colleague, fellow justice traveler. They have killed you blatantly, but you are being born in the people's hearts, brains. Is there any other lawyer in this world who gave up her life for justice? We will claim our rights. We will take them for you.”
Along with Ünsal, Timtik was on hunger strike since February 2020, with the demand to be tried fairly. On April 5, the Turkish Day of the Lawyer, the two human rights lawyers announced that they would persist in their hunger strike even if it leads to their deaths.Lawyer Ebru Timtik loses life on 238th day of her death fast demanding fair trialTurkey's Constitutional Court rejects hunger-striking lawyers' demand for release