No justice for 14-year-old killed by police during Gezi protests
Today marks five years since the death of 14-year-old Berkin Elvan, who died nine months after being struck in the head by a police tear gas canister on his way to the bakery during the 2013 Gezi Park protests in Istanbul.
Berkin’s mother, Gülsüm Elvan, fears that her son’s killers will never face justice, pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya Agency reported on Monday.
"We go to the court, but there is no justice. I did not attend the last two trials. What the suspect says is so hurting that I cannot keep calm. His lawyer's defence is very provocative. I cannot believe it," said Gülsüm Elvan, before referring to others killed by police during the protests.
Berkin was hit by the police tear gas canister on the morning of June 16, 2013, reportedly while on his way to buy bread for the family. He spent 269 days in a coma and dropped to a weight of 15 kg before he died.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused him of being linked to terrorist organisations and, during an election rally right after the boy’s funeral, exhorted crowds to boo Berkin's mother.
An investigation took over three years to identify his killer, police officer Fatih Dalgalı, by applying facial recognition technology to nearby security camera recordings.
But in 2017 a Turkish court ruled that Dalgalı would be tried without arrest. The trial continues today, with no arrests. Yet Gülsüm Elvan has no plans to give up.
"I will continue fighting until the people who ordered the shooting will be brought to justice, not only the police officer who shot my son,” she said.