Another child injured during police intervention
Mehmet Ezer receives treatment after becoming the latest child to be struck in the head by a police tear-gas canister.
After the Peace and Democracy Party's (BDP) electoral rally in the Azizoğlu Square in the Silvan district, a masked group allegedly pelted police with stones and shot fireworks at them, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported. As police attacked back with tear gas and water cannon, "an object" hit the head of Mehmet Ezer, 10, the agency reported.
Witnesses said Ezer was hit by a tear gas canister, while Gülten Kışanak, the co-leader of the BDP, went to Diyarbakır Dicle University hospital where the injured child was treated. Doctors announced that Ezer's injury was still life-threatening but that they had managed to stop the bleeding.
Leyla Zana, an independent deputy from Diyarbakır, was among the Kurdish politicians who visited the hospital. Zana said she had a phone conversation with Interior Minister Efkan Ala. According to Zana, Ala told her that an investigation was underway and an investigator would arrive in Diyarbakır on Wednesday.
Under close supervision
On the morning of March 26, doctors said Ezer’s condition was showing improvement and he had regained consciousness, adding that he remained under close medical supervision in the intensive care unit.
The doctors also said the 10-year-old had been able to talk with Zana at the hospital.
Daily Evrensel reporter Faruk Ayyıldız reported on March 26 that Ezer's condition remained serious but that the signs were positive, adding that doctors had said the first 24 hours would be critical in determining the boy's chances for recovery.
Diyarbakır Gov. Mustafa Cahit Kıraç and Agriculture Minister Mehdi Eker met with Ezer's family on the morning of March 26 , during which the boy's relatives demanded that those responsible for the incident be found. Kıraç, meanwhile, reportedly blamed the family for the incident, saying the parents should have taken better care of their child, according to Ayyıldız.
Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Deputy Chair Umut Oran tweeted about the incident, repeating the claim that Ezer was hit by a tear gas canister. "We're very sad," he said.
Fourteen-year-old Berkin Elvan was shot by a tear gas canister during last year's Gezi Park protests and died March 11 at the age of 15 after spending 269 days in a coma, becoming a symbol of police violence in Turkey.
According to reports, important leads have been found in the investigations into the deaths of Elvan and Burak Can Karamanoğlu, who was killedby unknown assailants after Elvan’s funeral in Istanbul's Okmeydanı neighborhood March 12.
Ankara court grants stay of execution for government's Twitter ban
The government had blocked access to the social media network late March 21 sparking global outcry. REUTERS photo
The government had blocked access to the social media network late March 21, hours after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğanvowed “to wipe out Twitter,” sparking global outcry.
A number of complaints were filed to courts last week to revoke the ban following the controversial move. The Union of Turkish Bar Associations (TBB), the Ankara Bar Associations, and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Deputy Parliamentary Group Chair Oktay Vural were among those applying to the administrative court to invalidate the ban.
The TİB has a right to object to the ruling, but access should be reopened before a second decision is made, legal experts consulted by daily Hürriyet said.
The Constitutional Court is also expected to review individual applications regarding the ban on March 26.
The decision comes after Erdoğan indicated the possibility that the ban could be extended to other popular social websites like YouTube and Facebook.
The government had accused Twitter of “indifference” over Turkish court decisions to withdraw content considered as violating the right of privacy.
Twitter quickly started talks with the Turkish government through a lawyer, reassuring users in the country that the service would return soon and the network would ensure protection of their privacy.
Erdoğan said during a live TV broadcast March 26 that Twitter had agreed to remove "one or two" pieces of content from the social media platform, but this was not enough. There are "approximately 700 pieces of content" that his government has demanded be removed, he added.
CHP leader suggests Sudan for PM Erdoğan’s post-election exile
CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu speaks to his supporters during an election rally in the Aegean province of Denizli. AA photo
Erdoğan has been portraying theCHP as a party which has no concrete projects for the country, Kılıçdaroğlu said yesterday, maintaining that this was because Erdoğan was so busy with corrupt work that he had no idea about those projects.
“But I will explain [these projects] to my nation. During the CHP rule, he will flee abroad. I have found an appropriate country for him: Omar al-Bashir’s Sudan. He [Bashir] was tried before an international court for committing a massacre and he was convicted,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
Back in 2008, al-Bashir attended a summit of African leaders in Turkey, shortly after the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor asked the court to issue an arrest warrant related to crimes in Darfur.
Neither Sudan nor Turkey recognizes the international court based at The Hague. In 2009, Turkey avoided a visit to Istanbul from al-Bashir through a last-minute intervention. Erdoğan’s then denial of Darfur atrocities by saying “a Muslim can never commit genocide” at the time caused a reaction.
Meanwhile, speaking in an interview on Kral FM radio, Kılıçdaroğlu confirmed that the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), sister-party of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) which shares the same grassroots as the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), approached the CHP about cooperating for the elections.
“That’s true, such a proposal came and we didn’t found it appropriate. When I got involved in politics, I said that I would tell the truth to people. They came, they offered cooperation and we didn’t accept. We said, ‘This will harm us.’ I’ve been telling the same view today, too,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, when reminded of earlier remarks by HDP co-leader Sebahat Tuncel.