On June 16th, 2013, a 14 year old boy named Berkin Elvan was going to the store to purchase a loaf of bread when he was swept up among the protests in Istanbul, Turkey. He was shot in the head with a tear gas canister, and ended up in a coma from a critical head injury.

While in a coma, Berkin had become a sign of hope for the protesters in Turkey, who were awaiting the day he would wake up. On March 11, 2014, which was the 269th day he was in a coma, the young boy passed away. People gathered outside outside of the hospital where Berkin had died to have a vigil, and police responded with more violence. Protests also spread across the country as a result including the cities of Antalya, Izmir, and in the capital, Ankara.

A funeral was held for Berkin on Wednesday, and riot police dispersed the mourners using tear gas and water cannons. Late Tuesday night, people gathered in cities across the world to commemorate the young boy. Approximately one hundred people gathered in Union Square in New York City for a vigil and a rally against police violence.

 

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