On Wednesday thousands of people gathered in the Turkish city of Istanbul in preparation for the funeral of a teenage boy who died after being hit by a police teargas canister during demonstrations last year .
The death of Berkin Elvan on Tuesday sparked demonstrations in cities across the country. The teenager fell into a coma after a blow to the head from a police teargas canister during clashes between demonstrators and security forces in June 2013,reports the BBC. At the time Elvan was on the way to buy bread for his family. After his funeral in Cemevi a march is due to take place through the centre of the city.
The demonstrations started last year in response to Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s attempts to close down a park in the centre of Istanbul, but spiraled into widespread protests against his leadership. Elvan’s injury became a rallying point for anti-state protesters. His death is the eighth linked to clashes between demonstrators and state security forces.
President Gul sent a message to Elvan’s family, admitting that “the mind of the state has become overwhelmed by anger and hatred.”