Memorial for Berkin Elvan, killed by a police tear gas canister during the Gezi protests

Berkin Elvan, a 14-year-old teenager, was injured by a tear gas canister on the sidelines of the Gezi protests in Istanbul and died after nine months in a coma. Ten years have passed since then.


Berkin Elvan was 14 and just wanted to get bread when he was injured in the head by a tear gas canister on the sidelines of the Gezi protests in Istanbul in June 2013. After 269 days in a coma, the boy died on 11 March 2014 at the age of 15. On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of his death, relatives and other people gathered at Istanbul's Feriköy Cemetery on Monday to remember him.

Many people attended the memorial at Berkin Elvan's grave. Among them were numerous actors and activists from politics and civil society, including Meral Danış Beştaş and Murat Çepni, DEM party co-mayor candidates for Istanbul.

Sami Elvan, the teenager's father, thanked everyone who supported him and his family during their fight for justice. "If there can be such a thing as justice, it certainly cannot be in this country, as it hangs on the lips of one person," he said.

Berkin's mother Gülsüm Elvan's speech was very emotional. "For ten long and difficult years I had to live with the fact that I could no longer see my son. It's been a decade of longing for my son. Ten years in which my calls for justice received no attention. But the murderers should know: Our pain and anger are as fresh as the first day."

Further speeches followed with similar messages. Emel Korkmaz, whose son Ali Ismail was also murdered during the Gezi protests, said: "Our children are underground, but their murderers are out there somewhere. Our anger grows with our pain. The resistance for law and justice continues." Before those present said goodbye, red carnations were placed on Berkin’s grave.