|Turks issue rallying cry at teen’s funeral
Tens of thousands turned out today for the funeral of a teenage boy whose death from injuries suffered during last year's anti-government protests sparked violent countrywide demonstrations.
Police were bracing for further clashes after they fired tear gas and water cannon at stone-hurling protesters in several cities on Tuesday following the death of 15-year-old Berkin Elvan after 269 days in a coma.
Elvan was hit on the head by a tear gas canister while he was going to buy bread during the demonstrations against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in June.
“Berkin's murderers are the AKP police,'' protesters shouted in Istanbul, referring to Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
“How many young people have to die for Erdogan to resign? My only wish is this fascism to end without spilling more blood,'' said retired worker Atilla izmirlioglu.
Erdogan has vowed to step down if the AKP, in power since 2002, loses local elections on March 30 that are seen as a key test of his popularity after last year's unrest and the graft inquiry.
Elvan's story became a symbol of the heavy-handed police tactics against demonstrators in June, the biggest of Erdogan's 11-year-rule.--AFP