Berkin Elvan - "a child killed by the state" Fabio Paulos
A barricade done by the protesters in Kurtuluş street to protect themselves from the police

There were violent protests again in Istanbul after the death of 15-year-old Berkin Elvan.

The innocent teenager who went to buy bread during the previous demonstrations and protests in Istanbul in 2013 was hit by the police with a tear gas canister. He was in a coma for 269 days and died last Tuesday morning. The Turkish police became violent against people in the hospital Berkin was being treated at. His mother is convinced that “God did not take my boy. Tayyip Erdoğan did. His father said that he would like his son be remembered "as a child killed by the state. He was just an innocent boy killed on his way to buy bread”.

The bread is now a symbol of these protests and is used to symbolize Berkin Elvan. This story and quotes have been circulated all over social networks, especially Facebook and Twitter.

Tayyip Erdoğan is the current Prime-Minister of Turkey. He has been in power since 2003 and been re-elected with a large majority three times. However, there has always been dissatisfaction amongst Turks, which has grown since the Gezi Park protests last year.

In 2001 he created a new political party Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi (AKP), which is considered Islamic and conservative. Tayyip Erdoğan is now considered the most influential Turkish politician after Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the father of the Turkish Republic.

His reformation of Turkey has helped its development, but many of these reforms have been achieved only because of his ambition to join the EU. Over the years Erdoğan created a strong network of influential people who would support him, but it was shaken when his important ally Fethullah Gülen withdrew his support after the Gezi Park protests.

After this, many corruption scandals have become public, which shook the AKP government but Tayyip Erdoğan does not want to abdicate his power. In recent years, Tayyip Erdoğan has become more conservative and authoritative in certain matters, which has resulted in many Turks labeling him as a dictator even though a majority had voted for him in a democratic election.

Tayyip Erdoğan exerts most of his control through his network of multiple Turkish newspapers and has recently passed a law that enables him to monitor and censor the Internet. He has already made it clear to the public that after the municipally elections at the end of March he will ban Facebook and YouTube, two of the social media platforms used to spread information about the Turkish protests and the scandals that affect his government.

Going back to the recent demonstrations in the last few days about Berkin Elvan, the Turkish protesters had clashes with the police in some Turkish cities, but mainly in Istanbul and Ankara.

In Istanbul, where the funeral ceremony of Berkin took place, people gathered and showed their support for the teenager by chanting "Berkin's murderers are the AKPs police" and "The rage of mothers will suffocate the murderers. Turkish police used tear gas and water cannons multiple times in order to stop people going towards Taksim Square, where the Gezi Park is.

Hotels, small shops and apartments were used as places of refuge for the protesters, the only protection that they have against the force and tear gas used by police. The biggest clashes took place in the neighborhood where I was lived during my stay in Istanbul.

Last Wednesday, a quiet and populated neighborhood witnessed warlike scenes as police clashed with activists. The protestors barricaded some streets in Kurtuluş to protect themselves from the police, but unfortunately a protester died and many others were hurt during the protests against the government.

The demonstrations will be calmer during the next few days, but the Turkish people will be ready rise again. They are angry not only with the government, but also the brutal force used by the police. Nothing will stop them from defending their rights for a democratic and liberal Turkey.