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Berkin Elvan Funeral:High tension police victim young Turkish boys funeral / Turkey Breaking News


Thousands of people  gathered in Istanbul for the funeral of  15 year old boy Berkin Elvan were killed by Turkish police.

Tens of thousands of people have turned out for the funeral of a Turkish boy Berkin Elvan who died nine months afterafter being hit by a police tear-gas canister during anti-government protests.

Police were bracing for further clashes as thousands converged in Istanbul calling for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to resign.

Berkin Elvan was hit on the head by a tear-gas canister after going out to buy bread during the demonstrations last year.

“Berkin’s murderers are the AKP police,” protesters shouted, referring to Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

More demonstrations are planned, heaping pressure on Erdogan, whose government has been rocked by an escalating corruption scandal ahead of elections that could decide his fate.

Erdogan has vowed to step down if the AKP, in power since 2002, loses local elections on March 30. They are seen as a key test of his popularity after last year’s unrest and the corruption probe.


Elvan’s story became a symbol of the heavy-handed police tactics against demonstrators in June.

His death prompted protests reminiscent of last year’s unrest, with thousands clashing with police on Tuesday in at least 32 cities, including Istanbul and Ankara, where the most violent clashes took place.

According to local media, some 20 demonstrators were injured and 150 arrests made.

Protesters shouted “Erdogan, killer” and “all against Fascism”.

In the Okmeydani neighbourhood where the boy lived, shopkeepers shut their stores in a show of solidarity.

The funeral ceremony at the cemevi is over and the coffin is being transported to the Elvan family’s house. “We’ve just said goodbye to him going to the eternity. My Berkin is gone, but I have millions of Berkins now,” the young victim’s father, Sami Elvan, said.

Hashtag #BerkinElvanÖlümsüzdür ("Berkin Elvan is eternal") trended globally on Twitter, as news of his death spread.
Hashtag #BerkinElvanÖlümsüzdür (“Berkin Elvan is eternal”) trended globally on Twitter, as news of his death spread.

President Abdullah Gul expressed his sadness at the boy’s death and appealed for calm, urging everyone “to do everything to prevent this from happening again”.

The June protests started as a relatively small environmentalist movement to save Istanbul’s central Gezi Park but evolved into a nationwide wave of protests against Erdogan, who is seen as increasingly authoritarian.

An estimated 2.5 million people took to the streets across Turkey over three weeks in June to demand Erdogan’s resignation. More than 8,000 were injured, according to medics.

Elvan’s death brought the toll from the unrest to at least eight, including one policeman.


On Tuesday, the boy’s mother, Gulsum Elvan, said: “It’s not God who took my son away but prime minister Erdogan.” Several political parties and trade unions were calling for a mass demonstration after Elvan’s funeral.

“Their children steal millions and our children are killed when they go to buy bread,” said the Disk union.

After the ceremony at the Okmeydanı Cemevi (1), Elvan will be interred in Feriköy Cemetery (3) after a procession from Şişli Mosque (2) that is slated to begin at 3 p.m. Some groups are calling for a march to Gezi Park in Taksim (4) afterward. Sources say police will let all the funeral-related events in Şişli neighborhood (1-2-3) go as planned, but will not allow protesters to march to Gezi Park.


The union was referring to a corruption scandal that broke in December, implicating Erdogan’s inner circle and their families.

Since then, sporadic protests have continued against controversial measures taken by Erdogan in response to the scandal, including laws tightening state control over the internet and the judiciary.

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