Berkin Elvan who celebrated his 15th birthday in coma has passed away today following his 269 day long struggle to survive. Berkin Elvan was shot in the head by a tear gas canister on a Sunday morning on his was to get bread from a corner store at Okmeydani, Istanbul during the days of the Gezi resistance.
We send our deepest condolences to Berkin Elvan’s friends and family.
Following the losses of Ali İsmail Korkmaz, Ethem Sarısülük, Mehmet Ayvalıtaş, Ahmet Atakan, Hasan Ferit Gedik at the Gezi protests, Medeni Yıldırım in Lice, Reşit İşbilir, Veysel İşbilir and Bemal Tokçu in Gever, we lost Berkin Elvan today. They all were just so young.
This murder is a direct consequence of the violent attacks and brutal use of force by the government in an attempt to shut down the democratic Gezi resistance protests by the use of excessive tear gas and armed police vehicles. This murder is a direct consequence of the use of government power to outlaw the order of law and democratic rights in Turkey.
The order that deems the police who has used tons of tear gas canisters and water canons and murdered protesters “heroes” and “epic figures” still rules the country. The government, the governor and the chief police officers that have ordered these attacks are still in power and holding their seats. None has been brought to justice.
The assailants and murderers are being protected while other murderers are being released. Nonetheless, those who exercised their democratic rights during the Gezi protests are being prosecuted.
Our struggle for human rights and the order of law will continue till the day we prevail.
We mourn the death of Berkin Elvan; we will not be campaigning, playing any party songs or organizing any festival-related campaign activities. We will not forget Berkin Elvan and those who have fallen for struggle for democracy. We will continue to condemn all those who fired these tear gas canisters and those who ordered these attacks that took our loved, young ones away from their families, friends and the people of this country.
Berkin Elvan lives in our struggle for democracy, peace and freedom in this country.
Sebahat Tuncel – Ertuğrul Kürkçü
Peoples’ Democratic Party Co-chairs
March 11, 2014