Protests In Turkey Continue After Berkin Elvan’s Funeral [Photos]

Clashes between Turkish riot police and protesters continued on the second consecutive day following the death of 15-year-old Berkin Elvan on Tuesday. The teenager, who was injured after getting caught in the June 2013 clashes was in a coma for close to nine months. Following his death, Berkin’s body was moved to a place of worship outside which a huge crowd had gathered, holding pictures of the boy.

Later, Berkin’s body was placed inside a coffin which was draped in red and covered in flowers. It was then carried through the streets on a short trip to a cemetery nearby, situated on a hill-top – all the time surrounded by a huge crowd. The protesters were chanting slogans against the incumbent Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. They blamed Tayyip for Berkin’s death and chanted “Tayyip! Killer!” and “Everywhere is Berkin, everywhere is resistance”. Berkin’s mother Gulsum Elvan was inconsolable when the coffin was lowered. She cried out, “What am I to do now? They’ve taken my everything.” In an interview with the BBC, Berkin’s father Sami Elvan said that his son had become a “child of the people”. After the funeral, mourners chanted slogans against the police.

The upsurge in protest marches after the death of Elvan has become the worst unrest the country has seen since last year’s protests, the very event in which Berkin Elvan was injured. Like yesterday, where the police had to resort to water cannons and tear gas to try and stop the protesters, the scene was nothing different today. The government had called in the riot police who also used rubber pellets in order to stop protesters from reaching Istanbul’s central Taksim Square, which was the scene of widespread protests last year. Similar scenes repeated themselves in the capital Ankara and the coastal city of Izmir, according to a Reuters report.

While the Turkish government remained silent yesterday after Berkin’s death, some response came from the President of the country on Wednesday, according to CNN. A Turkish official, on condition of anonymity said that Abdullah Gul, the man who holds the post of Turkish President, personally called up Berkin’s family. He claimed that the family was “very grateful for the call” and asked for help from the President to ensure that the police doesn’t intervene during the funeral. He adds that he President assured them of all support and told them that he would talk to the governor in order to ensure that Berkin Elvan’s funeral goes through without any interference by the authorities.

[Images Via Bing and YouTube]