Turkey’s opposition leader visits Elvan family

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Turkey’s main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu paid a visit to the family of the teenager who was buried on Wednesday

Turkey’s main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu paid a visit to the family of the teenager who was buried on Wednesday

ISTANBUL - A day after the funeral of Berkin Elvan, a 15-year-old boy who died on Tuesday after being injured during last summer’s Gezi Park protests, Turkey’s main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu paid a visit to the Elvan family on Thursday.

Kilicdaroglu, his wife Selvi and senior leaders of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) extended their condolences to the family. “We do not want anybody to be killed in this beautiful country. The death of a boy who went out to buy bread has hurt people’s conscience. We tried to share the family’s sorrow,” Kilicdaroglu told members of the press following his 25-minute visit.

Berkin Elvan was reportedly going to buy bread when he was hit by a gas canister in the head during a police crackdown against Gezi protests in Istanbul, June 2013. The Gezi park protests, which started in reaction to a construction project in Gezi Park in Taksim district of Istanbul, then spread to several other cities, leaving seven dead, including a policeman.

Berkin died Tuesday after 269 days in coma and on Wednesday thousands gathered his  funeral. After a silent walk from Okmeydani Cemevi, an Alevi place of worship, in Istanbul to the cemetery, some protestors tried to march to Taksim but were dispersed by security forces.

Kilicdaroglu pleaded for calm and called on citizens to seek democratic ways for their rights.

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