Gülsüm Elvan: I didn't give birth to my son for you to kill him

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  • 17:31 23 September 2020
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İSTANBUL - Speaking at the hearing of Berkin Elvan who was killed during Gezi protests, said: "I didn't give birth to my son for you to kill him."

The hearing of the lawsuit filed into the killing of 15-year-old Berkin Elvan in İstanbul during Gezi Resistance in 2013 continued at the İstanbul 17th Heavy Penal Court in Çağlayan today (September 23).

Shot in his head with a tear gas canister fired by a police officer in İstanbul, Elvan lost his life on March 11, 2014, 269 days after being shot.

Today's hearing was attended by a limited number of people as part of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) measures. Among the audience of the hearing were main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) İstanbul MP Sezgin Tanrıkulu, CHP İstanbul Chair Canan Kaftancıoğlu and reporters.

After the statements of mother Gülsüm Elvan, father Sami Elvan and sister Özge Elvan, family's attorney Can Atalay, who was himself put on trial and acquitted in the Gezi case, said that the video footage featuring the movements of police officers on the street corner on the day of the incident was watched. Attorney Atalay briefly said:

"It is seen that the police officers who used gas rifles laid an ambush. They are seen to be examining [the site]. The police officer who fired the shot decided not to duly intervene in this meeting and demonstration. He fired at a distance of 80 meters and he shot Berkin on purpose. The expert reports also show that the police officer in question is Fatih Dalgalı.

"Gendarmerie withdrew from the file due to the row between the gendarmerie and police officers during the examinations. That is why there is no expert report written based on the examination.

"In spite of this, the footage reveals that it was a targeted shot. At the moment when the fire was shot, there was no meeting or demonstration on that street; however, even if there had been, the police should have warned first as per the legal precedents of the Court of Cassation."

Attorney Çiğdem Akbulut also said that the evidence added to the file during the investigation phase was collected by her colleagues who were not present at court because they were either arrested or no longer alive:

"There was an increasing police violence against peaceful protests in that period. What should have been done was to launch a separate investigation into every single incident; but the case about the shooting of Berkin was combined with hundreds of others in the beginning.

"That was an obstacle to an effective investigation. The Security Directorate, for quite a long time, sent the lists of police officers who were on duty in Okmeydanı on false days and at false hours.

"One of the previous prosecutors of the case protested that the lists of police officers that were not related to the incidents were sent. Not sending the list of commissioned police officers, the Security Directorate intentionally kept the file hanging in midair. They even wrote that there were no city surveillance cameras (MOBESE) on the street even though there were.

"When the prosecutor of the investigation requested an examination on site, the Penal Judgeship of Peace rejected this request with such a mind-blowing justification as 'it was not needed at that point and this request would constitute the crime of misconduct in office.' While the colleagues representing the suspects could follow the proceedings in the file, a confidentiality order was imposed for us."

TİMTİK DIED FOR JUSTICE

Elvan family's attorney Akbulut also referred to her arrested colleague Ebru Timtik, who was an attorney for Berkin Elvan and lost her life on the 238th day of her hunger strike for a fair trial:

"I cannot conclude my remarks without mentioning the arrested attorneys of Berkin and Ebru Timtik. One of the accusations against her was that she went on a hunger strike to demand that the defendant of the case be brought to the hearing. After that hunger strike protest, the file started to move forward. The pictures and names were brought before us.

"A lawyer had to demand justice for her 14-year-old client with her hunger. Ebru Timtik was an attorney for Berkin Elvan. She died while she was on a death fast so that justice would come for all children of the people."

Defendant police officer Fatih D. said, "What the attorneys of the opposing side have been saying from the beginning is standard. What they talk about is assumptions and dreams. They say that the police and gendarmerie had a row during the examination. They cannot prove it, either. I do not have anything to do with the wounding of anyone."

The attorneys of the defendant police officer also objected to what the attorneys of the Elvan family stated at court.

The court has ruled that the file of the case shall be sent to the prosecutor's office for the preparation of the opinion as to the accusations.

The next hearing will be held on December 9, 2020.

Gathering in front of the courthouse after the hearing, the Elvan family and their attorneys made a statement. Indicating that "they had a hunger for justice and law," father Sami Elvan briefly said:

"The person who killed my child gets on [TV] channels and says that he is innocent. Because he relies on the power behind him.

"However, all evidence shows that he is a murderer. The murderer of my child is the then Prime Minister and President. Because he said, 'I gave the order, my police wrote a legend'."

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

Mother Gülsüm Elvan also said that they had not given up on their demands for justice and would not do so:

"Justice has been buried under ground with Ebru Timtik. But we will take this justice out of there. Every cloud has a silver lining. Children are still killed. Two people were dropped from a helicopter in Van. We say enough is enough. We want to live in peace.

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