Street fighting with the police – people were injured
Erdogan fearful of people’s reactions blockades Gezi Park.
By Manolis Kostidis – Ankara
Tens of thousands of Turkish people said their final goodbyes to 15-year-old Berkin, who died after having been in a coma for 269 days, a result of his injury by the police during the Gezi Park episodes last June.
Even during the funeral of a victim caused by state violence, police attacked the crowd, that wanted to march towards Taksim Square, using globs, water cannons and tear-gas. The street fighting that resulted had been going on until late at night. There are reports that at least 5 people were injured in the Sisli District, 3 kilometers from Taksim Square.
Berkin Elvan had gone out to buy some bread when he was hit on the head by a tear-gas canister.
The people’s rage against the government was intense with funeral marchers screaming and blowing whistles. “Here’s a thief! Here’s a murderer!”, “Berkin’s murderer is AKP police”, where among the slogans the crowd was shouting against Erdogan and the government.
Turkish citizens in 26 cities took to the streets.
On Tuesday night there had been demonstrations and clashes in 26 cities in Turkey. In Ankara the police used tear-gas and beat up dozens of protesters. Forty one people were arrested. In Istanbul the protests are continuous on both the European and the Asian side, with the police trying to prevent the riots. Major demonstrations took place in Eskisehir, Izmir, Adana, and even in Tunceli, an eastern, predominately Alevi Muslim town.
The funeral that convulsed the crowd.
The funeral of the 15-year-old Berkin started in the Sisli district, where there is room for the Alevi to pray (Members of this Muslim sect do not pray in mosques.). The mother of Ali Ismail Korkmaz, the victim who had been beaten to death by the police during the Gezi Park riots, was standing next to the 15-year-old’s mother. The prefecture of Istanbul announced that they will allow a procession towards the cemetery, but not to Taksim Square. For precautionary reasons the authorities have blockaded Gezi Park, which has become the demonstrators’ symbol. Thousands of policemen have “camped” outside Taksim Square in an attempt to prevent any form of protest.
The Erdogan government, had initially expressed its condolences through the Minister of Transport, Maritime and Communication. When the crowds’ reactions were made evident, the government’s deputy Prime Minister, Bulent Arinc, intervened stating that “it is a very sad incident; since yesterday the whole of Turkey is in grief”.
There was much discussion over the fact that Erdogan refrained from mentioning the 15-year-old’s death during the electoral gatherings.
Turks took to the streets in London, Parish and Washington, asking for the punishment of Berkin’s murderers.
The 15-year-old is the sixth victim of police brutality during the Gezi Park incidents, with Erdogan at the time describing police actions as “have done their duty and demonstrated heroism”. Up to now he has not apologized for any of the protestors’ deaths during his electoral gatherings stating that “the riots in Gezi Park were not for the park’s trees, but against Turkey and the government”.
“Berkin has gone in the history books, with his resistance, and not his murderers. Anyone who reads and understands this story has a future. Those who refuse to understand and refuse to learn from this will be buried in history’s dump”, reports the political analyst of the newspaper Vatan, Rusen Cakir.
The leader of the Republican’s People’s party, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, accused Erdogan of Berkin’s death. “Erdogan wept in front of the cameras for the death of a little girl in Egypt, when here eight people have died from state violence without him making a mention or expressing his grief”, he stated arguing that the government is trying to create tension.
Gulen’s message of condolences
The leader of the order of Hizmet, Fethullah Gulen, has issued a message of condolences for Berkin’s death pointing out that “out of willfulness for the construction of a shopping center (in Gezi Park) there are continuous attempts for polarization, rather than trying to normalize the situation; my deepest condolences to the Berkin’s family and the Alevi”.
The three major football teams, Fenerbahce, Besiktas and Galatasarai have all issued messages of condolences for the 15-year-old.
Up to now the investigation to assign the blame police officers responsible for Berkin’s death has not been completed.
People in Turkey have compared Berkin’s death with that of Alexis Grigoropoulos, in Greece in 2008. “Both were 15 years old and they were both murdered by the police”, according to messages on the internet.
Interior Minister: “I am the Law”.
In Turkey there is a new sound document from a telephone conversation of the new Interior Minister, Efkan Ala, which shows the way the government operates.
He is heard talking with the governor of Istanbul, Avni Mutlu, asking him to arrest the reporter of the newspaper Taraf, Mehmet Baransu. “Arrange the prosecutors, arrange the police, beak his door if need be and go in and arrest him”, he is heard saying.
Immediately after that he calls the president of the Telecommunications Committee, asking him to shut down Baransu’s webpage, The president of the Committee says that “without an order from the prosecutor it will be illegal’. But Ala’s response is “if it’s illegal we will make it legal, we will bring a new law. We are the 50%, we have the legitimacy”.
Baransu had published secret documents from MIT, which proved that the secret services were creating records on the members of Gulen’s order.
The “aspiring invader of Greece” has been released from prison.
The release from prison of the members of the parastate organisation Ergenekon continues.
This time it was the former dean of the University of Istanbul, Kemal Alemdaroglu’s, turn to be released from prison. In 2004, a few days before the Annan referendum had threatened Greece with an invasion! “Do not even think of giving territory to Cyprus. In southeastern Turkey we lost 35,000 people. We can sacrifice another 45,000; 100,000 more and we can take Greece and Cyprus”, he had stated.
Also released from prison was the representative of the self-proclaimed “Turk Orthodox Patriarchy”, Sevgi Erenol. The said institution is the creation of the turkish state since 1924, aimed at the weakening of the Ecumenical Patriarchy.
Among Ergenekon’s plans had been the assassination of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.