Turkey mourns on 10th anniversary of murder of Gezi victim Berkin Elvan

Berkin Elvan, Gezi Park protests victim, was commemorated at his grave on the 10th anniversary of his murder. A police officer shot 15-year-old Elvan in the head with a tear gas canister, putting him in a coma and causing his death during the 2013 Gezi Park protests.

Berkin Elvan's mother Gülsüm Elvan during the commemoration on the 10th anniversary of her son's murder in Istanbul's Feriköy Cemetery on March 11

Ferhat Yaşar / Gazete Duvar

Berkin Elvan, 15-year-old Kurdish boy who was killed by police during the 2013 Gezi Protests, on March 11 was commemorated at his grave in Istanbul on the 10th anniversary of his murder.

The commemoration, held in Istanbul’s Feriköy Cemetery, saw the attendance of his mother Gülsüm Elvan, father Sami Elvan, opposition Peoples’ Equality and Democracy (DEM) Party's Istanbul co-mayoral candidates Meral Danış Beştaş and Murat Çepni, and Saturday Mothers.

Mother Gülsüm Elvan said it has been 10 years “since I smelled her. It's been 10 years since we hugged him, since we talked to him. For 10 years we have been asking for justice. I call out to the murderers. When they kiss and hug their children, they should remember my child. Our pain and anger is growing.”

Father Sami Elvan said “I wish that tomorrow they (the murderers) will experience the injustice that we are experiencing today. I wish that their children will experience it. I expect everyone to see how much justice is needed.”

Elvan became one of the symbols of the Gezi Park protests – which began against the redevelopment of central Istanbul’s Gezi Park and grew into nationwide anti-government unrest – when he died on March 11, 2014, after having been in a coma for 269 days.

He was shot in the head with a police teargas canister while he was out to get bread during the protests. Elvan was the eight person to be killed in Gezi Park protests. 

Police officer Fatih Dalgalı was sentenced to 16 years and eight months in jail over the murder of Elvan. He will be imprisoned if the Court of Cassation, Turkey's top appeal court, approves of the verdict. He has not been arrested yet.

However, the Elvan family's lawyer Can Atalay received an 18-year prison sentence for allegedly "attempting to overthrow the government of the Republic of Turkey" during the Gezi Park protests.

(English version by Alperen Şen)