Renewed Protests in Turkey As 15-Year-Old Boy Dies After Nine Months in Coma

deadntvmsnbcLast spring, protests in Istanbul that started over government plans to turn a local park into a mall transformed into broader demonstrations against the increasingly authoritarian government of the long-time prime minister, Recep Erdogan, embodied by the government’s heavy handed response, and media blackout of, protests.

As is often the case with popular anti-government protests, Erdogan blamed the opposition for escalation. Amnesty International accused the Turkish government of various human rights abuses in their response to protesters. Its report said 8,000 people were injured and at least three killed. A relevant Wikipedia article identifies 11 people killed in protests, the last being 15-year-old Berkin Elvan, who died nine months after being struck in the head, according to his family, by a high-velocity gas canister thrown by Turkish police at protesters while he was going to the grocery store. The death has reignited protests, as the AP reports:

The unrest swelled within hours of news that Berkin Elvan, 15, had died in an Istanbul hospital, nine months after losing consciousness with a fractured skull...
Protests were reported in at least nine other cities. Authorities could provide no details on injuries to protesters or police.

Human Rights Watch has called on police officers implicated in the incident that led to Elvan’s death to be imprisoned, something which has obviously not happened.

Earlier this year, the Turkish government dismissed 350 police officers after finding out the government and ruling party were the target of a wide-ranging corruption investigation they claim they shouldn’t have been kept in the dark about.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Winston||

    You Know Who Else the Young Turks didn't like?

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    The Republican Party and libertarians?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Old Turks?

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Joe 'The Boss' Masseria and Salvatore Maranzano?

  • Almanian!||

    Mel Gibson in "Gallipoli"?

  • Cytotoxic||

    OT: Lockerbie bombing was ordered by Ayatollah Khomeini, ex-Iranian spy says

    The [Al-Jazeera] documentary claims the Lockerbie bombing was arranged during secret meetings in Malta attended by members of the Iranian, Syrian and Libyan regimes, leaving open the possibility that Libya did play a part in the attack.

    However, it names a Syrian, Ahmed Jibril, as the mastermind. He was the head of the PFLP-GC and was allegedly recruited by the Iranians because of his previous experience of bombing aircraft.

    If this is true, and apparently there's a lot of evidence it is, the British and American governments have framed al-Megrahi and lied since 1988 so they wouldn't antagonize Syria.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Holy. Fuck.

    Why isn't this on the front page of every news outlet in the world?

    Trust the government.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Caveat: Al-Jazeera works for the Qatari government...which is having a lot diplomatic tension with the other gulf Arab entities. The Qatari government is viewed with possibly as much suspicion as Iran's now.

  • Sevo||

    SF spends $22.6K per bum, wonders why more bums show up!
    "S.F.'s homeless problem even worse than thought"

  • Almanian!||

    A good friend of mine is in Turkey as we speak - went with a class of kids from my Alma Mater. He FB'ed pics of the poe lease shooting tear gas and shit.

    Scary for a furriner. Probably for the natives, too.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Tell him at the very least to stay out of prison!

  • Almanian!||

    I'm pretty sure he's seen "Midnight Express"


Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.