Turkey 26 May 2014 00:00
May 26, 2014
On 22 May 2014, 34-year-old Alevi-Turkish protester Ugur Kurt, cleaner and father of one, was killed by Turkish police. He was shot in the head by a stray bullet as the police dispersed a group of demonstrators expressing their grief over the Soma mining distaster that had taken the lives of 301 miners on 13 May 2014. The demonstrators were also protesting the shooting death of 15-year-old Berkin Elvan, killed by a police-fired gas canister during protests in March of that year. Kurt, for his part, was killed outside an Alevi worship sight in the impoverished neighborhood of Okmaydani in Istanbul.
Following these events, the Chepesi Party, an unrecognized political party comprised mostly of young people, clashed with the police. Members of the party shouted "Katil" (Criminals) at authorities. On the morning of 23 May, a police bus was hit by a Molotov cocktail, causing panic among policemen and leading one of them to fire in the air to disperse protesters. As the day continued, clashes in the neighborhood continued. By nightfall, protesters were taking aim at security cameras. More than 38 were arrested during the night of 26 May.