Turkish court sentences policeman to 16 years in prison over murder of Gezi victim Berkin Elvan

A Turkish court on June 18 sentenced a police officer to 16 years and eight months in jail for shooting 14-year-old Berkin Elvan in the head with a tear gas canister and causing his death.

Berkin Elvan died after he was struck in the head with a teargas canister during the 2013 Gezi Park protests.

Duvar English

An Istanbul court on June 18 sentenced a police officer to 16 years and eight months in prison over the murder of 14-year-old Berkin Elvan.

The Istanbul 17th Heavy Penal Court did not arrest police officer Fatih Dalgalı but imposed an international ban on him.

Dalgalı will be imprisoned if the Court of Cassation, Turkey's top appeal court, approves of the verdict.

Elvan was shot by a tear gas canister fired by police during the Gezi Park protests, which took place in Istanbul’s Taksim following harsh government response to a group of protesters trying to prevent the cutting down of trees for a large development project planned by the government in 2013.

Elvan died in March 2014 after 269 days in a coma.

Prior to the final hearing of the case on June 18, Elvan's family held a press statement in front of the Çağlayan Courthouse.

“We are about to reach the end of the case of our Berkin, after 20 hearings, in which we expect the murderers to give an account. While we have been screaming for our demand of justice for Berkin in the streets, squares and courthouses, the police officer who shot Berkin continued his job,” the family said.

The press meeting was also attended by deputies of the main opposition Republican Peoples' Party (CHP), Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and Workers Party of Turkey (TİP).

During the hearing, police officer Dalgalı denied that he was the one who shot Elvan, to which lawyers rejected, citing the expert's report.

“Fatih Dalgalı is the killer of Berkin Elvan. This is what [security] footages and reports are saying. We do not want the sentencing of Fatih Dalgalı just for Berkin, but want a police officer to think 1,000 times before he pulls the trigger. We want Fatih Dalgalı to be sentenced on charges of intentional killing and be jailed,” said lawyer Yalçın Deniz Özen.

The lawyer said that it should not be just Dalgalı who stands trial but also other police officers who assisted the defendant in his action.

“Fatih Dalgalı was not alone there. There was also his superior instructing him. And there was another police officer who was carrying cartridges to them,” the lawyer said, demanding once again that the other police officers in question also be tried in the case.

The court board rejected the prosecutors' demand that Dalgalı be sentenced on charges of “causing death by conscious negligence” -- which carries up to nine years in jail -- and found the police officer guilty of “intentional killing.”