News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
(ANF) Major street protests have broken out across Turkey following the death of 15 year old Berkin Elvan early this morning. Berkin had been in a coma for 269 days after he was struck in the head with a tear gas canister on the way to buy bread for his family during the Gezi uprisings last June. Berkin, who turned 15 in January, was only 16 kilos when he died. Berkin is now the 8th person to have died in the Gezi protests.
Protests began in the Istanbul neighborhood of Okmeydanı, where Berkin had grown up, as Berkin’s family attempted to transport his body to the Okmeydanı Cemevi (Alevi place of worship). Thousands of people met the funeral procession as it reached the neighborhood. Berkin’s mother Gülsüm Elvan addressed the Prime Minister directly, saying “Erdoğan you took my son from me, may you suffer for it.” Protesters shouted “fascist state” and “Erdoğan the killer” as they marched along the side the procession carrying red flags. Berkin’s funeral will begin tomorrow at 12:00 noon in the Okmeydanı Cemevi.
By evening protests had spread to all the major cities of Turkey. Yıldız Technical University, Bahçeşehir Univeristy and Galatasaray University all called for school boycotts. Students from Yıldız Technical University descended from campus down Barbaros Boulevard to the Beşiktaş square where they left carnations and loaves of bread in front of Beşiktaş’s Eagle Statue in Berkin’s memory. Major street clashes broke out later in the evening in both in the Taksim and Kadıköy districts of Istanbul as police attempted to block protesters from gathering.
In Ankara thousands of students marched from Ankara University’s Cebeci Campus to the central district of Kızılay. Clashes broke out when police attempted to stop the students from marching and protesters throw stones at the local AKP branch office in Çankkaya and tore down AKP and CHP flags. As of this evening protests are continuing in both Istanbul and Ankara.
Protests and clashes have also broken out in Kocaeli, Mersin, Adana, İzmir and Antalya.