Gülsüm Elvan, the mother of 15-year-old young boy Berkin Elvan who was targeted and shot with a gas canister by police during the 2013 Gezi Park protests in Istanbul and who died nine months later, received a shocking reply from a Turkish police officer when she was asked for her ID while trying to join a commemoration event.
Gülsüm Elvan, who has become a famous public figure after the tragic incident that drew extensive media coverage during the trials following Berkin’s death, asked the police officers if they haven’t recognized who she was. She said, “Don’t you recognize me, I’m the mother of the boy you killed.”
One of the officers coldly replied, saying, “Am I the one who killed your son? Oh well, it’s a good thing I did then.”
Then the officer immediately walked away, Gülsüm Elvan and other women with her chased him, protesting.
Gülsüm Elvan spoke to Mesopotamia News Agency later, saying that she had faced similar incidents in the past, adding that she will never be intimidated and would file a criminal complaint against the police officer.
“It is because of the lack of any justice in this country that they can so easily say, ‘We shot him. We did good, shooting him.’ This is not the first time I have been subjected to such an incident,” she said
“I have endured it many times before. Many times. During the trial of Ethem Sarısülük, a policewoman very clearly said to myself and the mother Sayfı… Imagine, a woman… This is in fact the most unbearable thing, a female police officer… turned to us, pointing her finger towards us and said, “Yes, we killed your sons and now it is your turn!” But I won’t give up. I’ll file a criminal complaint for this latest incident too.”
Ethem Sarısülük was a 27-year-old youth who was killed in June 2013, by the police during the Gezi Park protests in Ankara.
The Gezi Park protests in 2013, started with a small protest against an urban development plan targeting the only green area in Istanbul’s main square, Taksim and turned into an historical mass struggle as the violence of the police towards the initial protesters sparked a huge protest. While hundreds of thousands of people gathered at and around Taksim Square, turning the whole area into a giant camping field, 11 people were killed and more than 8000 injured by the police during the peaceful protests.
In June 2021, the police officer Fatih Dalgalı, was found guilty of murder through causing the death of Berkin Elvan by shooting him with a gas canister and was sentenced to 16 years and eight months in prison.