Hundreds of Thousands Bid Farewell to Little Berkin

A 15 year-old youngster, Berkin Elvan, who was hit by a police canister in the head during Gezi protests in June and has been in coma since then,  died March 11. He was hit in Istanbul’s Okmeydanı neighbourhood while he went out to buy bread from a nearby bakery. He went into coma and has been in hospital for 9 months.

Since the beginning he has become one of the symbols of the Gezi protests and news about his condition have always been of intense interest since he was hospitalized. News of his death has created a burst of anger causing numerous protests across the country. His funeral was a huge protest participated by hundreds of thousands of people. They expressed their anger at the AKP government and its police force. But the police did not hesitate to attack the funeral as well. Many people were wounded and arrested.

Immediately after the news of Berkin’s death a boycott of two days was declared in protest in many high schools and universities. KESK (Confederation of Public Employees’ Unions) and DISK (Confederation of Revolutionary Workers’ Unions) called for a work stoppage to be carried out on the day of funeral. And the government kept referring to “social violence” as if it was not police terror that killed Berkin.

Berkin’s murderers are the police whom Erdogan called “heroes making history” and the government giving the order to attack the people. The police killed 7 young people (Berkin is the 8th) and wounded thousands of them during the Gezi protests, and while thousands of protestors are under threat of being sentenced to serving more than ten years in prison, the police is heavily protected by the government, evidence is hidden from the courts, etc.

Berkin is not the only child of ours whose life was taken by this murderer state. Those Kurdish children killed with bombs dropped by warplanes in Roboski, those Ceylans, Ugurs, Mahsums and hundreds of others killed by bombs, bullets, mines, tanks of the army and police, they are all ours… We have never forgotten, and will not let it forgotten, their eyes calling for bringing those who are responsible to book. This is our pledge to Berkin and other souls we have lost so far in this fight!