Turkish police clash with protesters marking teen’s death in Istanbul

Türkiye Materials 12 March 2015 02:18 (UTC +04:00)

Clashes have erupted between Turkish riot police and protesters marking the first death anniversary of a teenager in the Gezi Park anti-government demonstrations in the port city of Istanbul, Press TV reported.

Clashes broke out in the Turkish city of Istanbul on Wednesday as the protesters gathered to remember Berkin Elvan, who died at the age of 15 on March 11, 2014, nine months after he was hit by a police tear gas canister in the city's Okmeydani neighborhood.

Some protesters threw fireworks and Molotov cocktails at the riot police, who used water cannon and tear gas to disperse the demonstrators.

Police reportedly arrested eight high-school students at Gezi Park, who unfurled a banner reading, "Berkin is here" and splattered the area in red paint.

Elsewhere, in the Turkish capital city of Ankara, police also used water cannon to break up protests and detained 11 people in the district of Tuzlucayir, according to local media reports.

Last week, thousands of people took to the streets of Istanbul in remembrance of the youngest victim of Gezi Park demonstrations.

Elvan was shot in the head after leaving his house to buy bread during anti-government protests that hit Istanbul in June 2013. Elvan's death triggered nationwide protests.

Anti-government protests started in Turkey in mid-2013, when Turkish police broke up a sit-in held at Istanbul's Taksim Square against a proposal to demolish Gezi Park.

The violence turned into nationwide demonstrations against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Recep Tayyip Erdogan - who was the prime minister at the time and is the president now - with police using water cannons, tear gas, and rubber bullets against the demonstrators.