The farce of children’s rights in Turkey

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If Berkin Elvan’s killer cannot be found, hasn’t Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made Turkey a terrible place to be a child?

Berkin Elvan

It doesn’t matter why he was out on the streets of Istanbul that night.

What we know is that Berkin Elvan was struck on the head at terrific speed by a tear gas canister early in the morning of 16 June 2013. The canister was fired by police at close range, like so many others during Turkey’s summer of unrest.

He spent 269 days in a coma before finally succumbing to his injuries this morning. His dad Sami insists Berkin had been sent out to buy a loaf of bread. The authorities say he was active part of the protests.

But Berkin’s motive is not important.

He died after police fired a gas canister at his head. There will be no punishment for the officer who pulled the trigger. Worse, there’s not even a way of finding out who pulled the trigger.

Worse still, Berkin was just 15 years old. A child under Turkish law.

In a message published on the Turkish prime minister’s website, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks of his ambition for the country’s children: “On the one hand, we are working night and day to create better opportunities and conditions for you. On the other, we are taking care not dishearten you and your dreams for the future.”

He continues: “We want the joy of life in your hearts never to disappear. We want you never to give up trusting and believing in your country and your nation.”

Forget what everyone has said. Forget the declarations of martyrdom. Forget that this is the eighth Gezi-related death.

Just consider two cold, hard facts. The Turkish state killed a 15-year-old child. It refuses to investigate who did it or why it happened.

How can Recep Tayyip Erdoğan not be ashamed of himself?

Last modified: Monday 15 May 2017

3 Responses to :
The farce of children’s rights in Turkey

  1. Oguz says:

    If you don’t know anything about Turkish politics, don’t write this nonsense. It’s the Gezi protestors that gave this little boy a mask and a weapon to throw at the police. The Gezi terrorists are the real murderers, they should be ashamed.

    P.S. Without AKP, this nation is doomed, and you know it.


    1. Mykel Darren says:

      So now people who protest peacefully, get attacked first, get shot at with *grenade launchers directly aimed at them* and had their faces sprayed with *literally a chemical weapon*, are “terrorists”. Thank you for that clarification, friend.
      Where’d you learn this “they gave him a mask and weapon” bullshit anyway? The masks didn’t appear until after the police initiated violence with bullets and escalated it with grenade launchers.
      Even if you were right, how does that justify launching a gas canister at his head?

      Also, the nation has lived in relative peace for decades before the AKP gained power. I’m sure we’d survive just fine (maybe even be better off) without it.

      1. me says:

        if a child is mature enough to throw stones and gases to police together with pkk supporters he s mature enough to die too. if u wanna see unjustice states look at usa and europe . u r ryting about turkey without knowing anything about turkey. ur wrting s full of non sence

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