We want Justice for Berkin Elvan

Berkin Elvan was a 14-year old teenager, who lived in Istanbul’s neighborhood Okmeydani. Okmeydani is a neighborhood, in which revolutionaries and especially the People’s Front are strongly

tied to the population. As well ‘Idil Cultural Center’, belonging to the popular left band Grup Yorum, and the Youth Federation are located in this neighborhood.

The children, who grow up in Okmeydani are familiar with fascism, water canons and gas bombs. They know too, that there isn’t any choice but to resist the brutal state policy. Berkin Elvan was one of the young people among the People’s Front, he was a “child of hope”, as young people and children in that neighborhood are called. The “children of hope” are all beautiful, but Berkin was one of the most active, courageous and brave of them. He was known and loved by everyone in Okmeydani, both by elderly people, children and

teenagers. Okmeydani was the place, where the police mostly attacked and used gas bombs during the June uprising in 2013. That’s why Berkin Elvan, just like all inhabitants of the neighborhood tried to defend Okmeydani against the armed police forces and their water canons with marbles and slingshots. He was struggling in the front lines of the barricades and without any fear.

When dawn was breaking on 16th June 2013 in Okmeydani, almost nobody could sleep. The whole neighborhood was surrounded by the smell of gas bombs, and even houses were filled with the smoke. The Elvan family was about to have breakfast, and someone should get bread. Because Berkin knew that the confrontations were going on, he said to his mother, who wanted to go for bread

“you’re not quick enough to run away, I’ll get the bread”, and he just bolted outside. But Berkin never returned to his home, he couldn’t bring bread to his family. It was the last time for him to leave his home. Because the streets to the bakery were filled with water canons and police forces. They aimed at Berkin. He could jump and save his life once, he could jump and recover himself twice, but then

police purposely targeted him and a teargas grenade hit his head. He removed the gas shell from his head and said, “Don’t tell anything to my mother and father, they shall not be sad”. But then, he collapsed and was brought to the hospital. There, Berkin’s struggle began, which lasted for 269 days. On the 11th March 2014, he became immortal as the 6th martyr of the June uprising. While Berkin Elvan was sleeping, the members of the People’s Front stirred up the whole world. The sleep of Berkin Elvan awoke the people and questioned their conscience.

Actions carried out for Berkin Elvan:

– Every day, members of the People’s Front kept guard in front of the hospital, where Berkin Elvan was in a coma.

– The family, lawyers and friends of Berkin Elvan held countless press statements during the period, he was in a coma.

– In numerous cities in Turkey (Istanbul, Izmir, Antalya, Ankara, Adana, Tarsus, Dersim, Samsun, Edirne, Kars, Kirklareli, Maras, Canakkale, Erzincan) actions were carried out for 269 days. Demonstrations and protests were organized, banners were hung up.

-The demand “We want justice for Berkin Elvan” never ceased.

-At the same time the young people in the age of Berkin Elvan carried out actions at grammar schools. They hung up banners from the school windows, wrote messages to the blackboard and made a symbolic “sleeping action” for Berkin.

-Every Sunday an action was held in front of the Taksim memorial.

-Every Friday a demonstration was organized from Taksim do Galatasaray grammar school.

-In Adana, every Monday at 5.00 p.m. a press statement was held at Inonu Park, saying “We want justice”. For 269 days, the press, almost on a daily base, publised news about Berkin Elvan.

Some of the outshining actions

– On 9th September 2013 people wanted to make a “chain for justice” for Berkin Elvan.

From there, they wanted to go in front of the courthouse. But the police didn’t even tolerate such a simple action. They attacked and arrested several people.

– On 16th November people carried out an action following an appeal of the Taksim Solidarity and demanded justice for Berkin in front of the Courthouse in Istanbul.

-The day, when Berkin Elvan was in a coma for 153 days already, the police attacked the protest group even before a press statement could be read. Gas bombs, plastic ammunition and compressed water was used against people, injuring many of them. One of the protestors got his leg broken.

The answers to the demand for justice were arrests and injuries… Members of the People’s Front decided to march in front of the AKP building at Sutluce to declare “We pursue the murderers”. Without waiting for this action the police started to suffocate the streets of Okmeydani with gas bombs and attacked with plastic ammunition. The barricades were  expanded until the branch roads. The supporters of the People’s Front lighted a fire. They resisted with stones, slingshots and marbles to plastic munition and gas bombs. Hasan Ferit Gedik, who later lost his life as a result of 6 bullets fired by a drug gang, added a new form of action. He said “Let’s fly wish lanterns for Berkin Elvan”. His life didn’t last long enough to implement this idea, but in many places in Turkey and in Europe “wish lanterns” were flown. In January, on the birthday of Berkin Elvan, grammar school students wrote to the blackboard “Happy Birthday Berkin”. The scholars and teachers at Isparta’ Süleyman Demirel Science Grammar School made a video with the title “Hey, Berkin, get up“ Don’t play with our patience! Reveal the policemen, who shot Berkin!

The state is protecting the murderer of Berkin. Persistently it doesn’t reveal the police officer, who shot Berkin Elvan, doesn’t make efforts at all, not even concerning the evaluation of security cameras. The family lawyers of Berkin found by own efforts witnesses and made investigations. They had to do the job, that wasn’t done by the prosecutor. But not just the lawyers
were curious for the murderer of Berkin. Therefore, several actions were carried out in many cities of Turkey with the demand „Do not play with our patience! Reveal the murderer of Berkin“.

In February and March 2014, 32 actions were carried out to demand „Justice for Berkin“. 90 persons were arrested. Almost none of these 90 persons remained without broken arms or legs, or not wounded on head or eyes!

One is silent, while children are sleeping, not if they die!

Millions of people shouted the slogan „Murderer Erdogan“. There was a flood of people behind the funeral. The people came to say goodbye to its child. It was reported, that around 3 million people were joining, when the funeral reached the cemetery.

Not just in Turkey, but in many countries around the world, people were mourning. From Australia to Japan, from USA to Europe, there was almost nobody, who didn’t hear about Berkin Elvan and who didn’t accept him as own brother or child. Because „One is silent, while children are sleeping, not if they die“.

Berkin lost his struggle for life on 11th March 2014, after lying 269 days in a coma. BERKIN RESISTED EXACTLY FOR 269 DAYS… His resistance against death was in fact a call for resistance. It was a big resistance to wake up the people while
sleeping… And it was exactly, as Berkin wished… With every day he melted away, he stirred the people… He opened blind eyes, made deaf ears listen and numb tongues speak… Until today, his funeral was the most crowded funeral. 3 million people had been in Istanbul. 3 million people considered Berkin as their own child. 3 million people were angry with the state that killed Berkin.


Fascist Tayyip Erdoğan

During the funeral of Berkin Elvan, his mourning and  furious mother said

„Not Allah has taken the life of my son, but Tayyip Erdogan“.

Tayyip Erdogan booed the mourning mother during a speech in front of a big crowd of people. On the other hand, it was himself who said, that he personally gave the order to kill Berkin and the other martyrs of the June uprising:

“They say ‘Who gave the order to the police’. I gave it. Our police has written a story of bravery“.

After this statement received massive protest, he defended his police forces by saying:

“How could the police separate, how old a person was, who wore a head scarf and hurled iron marbles with a slingshot“… This is how he started the debate on „Who are these persons with red masks“.

There’s a separate part about this issue in the brochure.

The fascist police continues to target grammar school students

After the death of Berkin, the grammar school students carried out several actions and they continued to do so, demanding the punishment of his murderers. The demand for justice will not end until justice for Berkin is being obtained. The revolutionary grammar school students boycotted their lessons on the 26th May 2014 with the slogan “We demand justice for Berkin”. The police fired live ammunition against these young people, who carried out this passive action and who were in the age of Berkin. Ugur Kurt, who was incidental in place, was shot by police bullets to his brain and died at the scene. The police actually wanted to kill the young people, just as they killed Berkin.

I’ve got the instructions from Berkin

After Ugur Kurt, also Ayhan Yilmaz lost his life during confrontations between activists and the police. Same as Ugur Kurt, he had nothing to do with the protests. The police applies open terror. It doesn’t differentiate between adults, children, old and young persons, but kills anybody with live ammunition and gas bombs. During the June uprising 8 people, including Berkin were killed. 12 people lost their sight, because police threw gas bombs at close range. One person’s splenetic had to be removed. 20 persons received traumatic brain injuries. 7.832 people were injured, some 60 of them severely. 4.900 people were arrested and subjected to any kind of degrading treatment and torture in police custody. Only in the last period more than 100 of our people in cities like Ankara Izmir and Istanbul were imprisoned for participation in actions. 150 thousand gas bombs were used against the people. People were attacked with 3 thousand tons of water mixed up with chemicals.

While the AKP government protects the murderers, it continues its tyranny towards the people with might and main. The police officers are protected from highest rank, from Erdogan personally. And they are even praised with words like “my police forces have written an epic”. The prosecutors do not open trials, the courts do not advance and even eliminate evidence. As if making  fun of those who demand justice, Erdogan answered “5 people were killed, what’s the matter. Why don’t you look at Egypt”. With such a prime minister, in such a country you can’t find justice. This state has been degenerated with all its institutions. The police forces took their instructions from “Erdogan”. The fighter of DHKC, Muharrem Karatas and Serdar Polat announced, that they had taken their instructions from “Berkin Elvan”. They launched an attack with rockets to a building of the Police Headquarters in Ankara on 20th September 2013, because this was the police center from where 250.000 policemen were dispatched and administrated, and also orders for all massacres and shootings were coming from there. The action didn’t aim at casualty, but at “warning”. Two hours after the raid, Muharrem Karatas and Serdar Polat were surrounded by 5.000 policemen, by helicopters and dogs. The militants went in a confrontation against 5.000 policemen and special units. They were injured, when the police arrested them. But they killed Muharrem Karatas purposedly and a shift was started in front of the hospital to prevent the police from executing Serdar Polat, who subsequently was sent to prison.


– Grammar school students and university students carried out an action after Berkin’s death:

With his death, Berkin politicized young people of his age and teenagers. Turkey hasn’t witnessed such widespread school actions after the fascist junta of 1980.

– Students of Izmir/Karatas grammar school held a sit-in protest for Berkin. After a moment of silence for Berkin, they didn’t enter the school.

– Yüksekova: Dozens of students, who gathered in front of the Yüksekova Grammar school, marched over Cengiz Topel street until the Old Prison crossroads.
– Hozat: The students of the vocational high school didn’t enter their lessons for two days. The lessons were boycotted with hundred percent participation.

– Istanbul: On 16th March a human chain was made in front of the Ahmet Sani Gezici grammar school.

– Amed: The students of Fatih grammar school organized an action on the 15th March. They hang up posters inside the school.

– Amed: In the grammar schools of Bismil actions were carried out.

– Antakya: Students of several grammar schools organized boycotts and demonstrations.

– Istanbul: Students of the Kurtulus grammar school carried out a sit-in protest for Berkin Elvan.

– Istanbul: The students of Asim Ulker grammar school attached the photograph of Berkin to their collars.

– The students of Ankara’s Ege Anadolu grammar school made a boycot for Berkin Elvan.

– The students of Istanbul’s Esenkent Halil Akkanat grammar school, organized a march for Berkin.


The scholars of primary school in Istanbul/Aslangazi carried out actions.

– The grammar school students in the neighborhood Gazi marched to the police station on on the 15th March. They hang up posters inside the school. They ended their action after reacting by shouting “Murderers”.

– Amed: In the grammar schools of Bismil actions were carried out.

– The children of the Harbiye primary school in Istanbul/Elmadağ shouted the slogan “Berkin Elvan is Immortal” for minutes.

– The students of Beşiktaş’ Anadolu Lisesi grammar school held a sit-in protest with bread in their hands.

– The students of Istanbul’ Bahçelievler Anadolu grammar school held a sit-in protest.

– The students of Izmir’s Mustafa Kemal Anadolu grammar school decided to go to school with black clothes. They didn’t enter their lesson in the morning and carried out an action for Berkin.

– The students of Adana’s Hacı Ahmet Atıl grammar school made a boycott.

– The students of Ankara’s Nermin Mehmet Çekiç Anadolu grammar school carried out a demonstrationuntil Kızılay.

– The scholars of Sarigazi’s Küçük Ülkü Primar School organized a march.

– Ankara: Students in Gölbasi district marched all together to Kizilay square.

– Dersim: There were demonstrations for Berkin in several grammar schools.

– The students of Izmir’s Bornova Mustafa Kemal grammar school organized a march to commemorate Berkin.

– The students of Ankara’s Tuzlucayir grammar school boycotted their lessons.

– The students of Ankara’s Kirami Refia Alemdaroğlu grammar school carried out an action. The administration tried to prevent their actions.

– Izmir Tevfik Fikret grammar school: A boycott was organized for Berkin Elvan. The students continued the whole day with their boycotts and sit-in protests.

– The students of Ankara’s Incirli grammar school held a sit-in protest in the courtyard of the school on the day, Berkin Elvan lost his life. They built a human chain for Berkin Elvan, which was joined by 40 persons.

– The students of Ankara’s Öğretmen Necla Kizilbag Anadolu grammar school and the Çankaya Anadolu grammar school united on the day, Berkin Elvan died and marched from Seyranbaglari to Guven Park. During a school match in the gym of their schools on 11th March 2014, they shouted slogans for Berkin.

– Dersim: Grammar school students, who gathered in the Mogultay Mahallesi Cumhuriyet Street opened a banner, writing “Berkin Elvan is Immortal“ and marched to the Seyit Riza Park.


– Students of the Science Faculty of the Ege University boycotted their lessons, saying ‘No lesson without Berkin’.

– Students of the Akdeniz(Mediterranean) University (Antalya) held a 2 days lasting sit-in protests for Berkin Elvan in the Yakut market.
– Students carried out an action in front of the Faculty of Law of the Baskent University.

Yeditepe University: Students carried out an action, saying “We don’t enter the lessons, our pain is deep. We’ll remain here, until the perpetrators of Berkin and all children are being charged.

– The students of Bursa’s Uludag University organized a sit- in protest and a boycott in front of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

– At the Okan University students carried out an action for Berkin Elvan.

– A boycott was organized for Berkin Elvan in front of the refectory of the Macka Campus of the ITU Conservatory.

– A commemoration was held at the Communication Faculty at Erzurum’s Atatürk University.

– A commemoration was held at the Cukurova University in Adana.

– The students of the Bilkent University announced, that they had changed the name of the lecture hall fb309 into Berkin Elvan
lecture hall.

– Lessons were boycotted at the Istanbul University. The students carried out a demonstration for Berkin.

– The students of the Yildiz Technical University organized a boycott.

– The students of Gaziantep’s Hasan Kalyoncu University carried out an action.

– A commemoration was held at Mardin’s Artuklu University.

– A commemoration was held at the Medical Faculty of Edir- ne’sTrakya University.

– Around 300 students at Usak’s University held a commemoration.
– A group of students at Sivas’ Cumhuriyet University carried out a demonstration for Berkin Elvan.

– Students of the vocational high school for Applied Technology and Management at Mersin’s Silifke University carried out a sit-in protest in front of the Ataturk memorial.

– The students of the Eregli Teachers college BEU carried out an action.
– At Sirnak’s University a ‘standing man’ action was carried out. The action, which started with a single person, multiplied with the students who left their lessons, while applauding.

Apart from these, Berkin Elvan was commemorated with actions in almost all provinces of Turkey.