Turkish police shoots 10-year-old boy with a tear-gas canister
Yesterday, the 10-year old Mehmet Ezer was shot in the head by the police with a tear-gas canister. The incident took place during a rally for the pro-Kurdish BDP in Silvan, a town of Diyarbakir. After getting the initial treatment at the Silvan State Hospital, Mehmet Ezer was transferred to the Diyarbakir Dicle University Hospital. It was reported yesterday (25.03.2014) that he was still in critical condition.
Lack of brain surgeons
Mehmet Ezer was brought to the emergency department at Diyarbakir Dicle University Hospital and his condition required a brain surgeon. Because of the lack of capacity at the neurosurgical unit, a transfer to another hospital was planned. According to one of our sources, the transfer was planned to the Memorial Hospital on the Urfa road, but according to another source, brain surgeons could not be found at other hospitals either, and Ezer was kept at the intensive care unit .
A big crowd including Ezer’s family and members of BDP was waiting outside the hospital.
The Independent Deputy of Diyarbakir, Leyla Zana, spoke to the Minister of Internal Affairs Efkan Ala by phone, and informed that he would send inspectors to Amed the next day (today, March 26). Leyla Zana also went to the hospital to talk to the doctors about the condition of the boy. According to Ferhat Parlak from the Silvan Strugge Newspaper (Silvan Mücadele Gazetesi), Ezer was still in critical condition at 22.10.
The chief physician informed the public in a press statement that the boy is no longer in a life-threatening state, but has to be monitored at the intensive unit for some time. If everything goes right from now, he will be discharged from the hospital in a few days.
Minister is not sure how M.E. was injured
Mehdi Eker, the minister of agriculture, visited the hospital with the governor of Silvan, Mustafa Cahit Kıraç. After speaking with the family behind closed doors, Eker stated that he had spoken to the family and started an investigation to find out how the boy was injured:
“It is too early to say anything about a tear-gas canister. The territorial investigators are working on this case. If something against law has taken place, this will definitely be punished.”
Eker also used time to speak about how his election campaigns were going.
The governor Mustafa Cahit Kıraç also made a statement at the press release and said:
“A child’s ground is the playground, not the demonstration grounds.”
This is a regrettable statement as a child ought to be safe from indiscrimate use of tear-gas.
Journalists reporting through twitter
According to the journalist Faruk Ayyıldız, who reported from the hospital yesterday and today through twitter, the minister began his visit at the hospital by taking pictures with the chief physician. Later he walked past the family and ordered the family to be brought to a room that the press did not have any access to.
M.E.’s father spoke
Mehmet Ezer’s father Nazmi Ezer walked through different neighborhoods in the area to tell people about how the police was attacking children.
“What does it matter if a 9 year old boy throws a stone or not? If they were ashamed, they wouldn’t hit a little child. Even if my child threw stones at the police, they did not have to hit him like this. I will sue, and I will stand by this. […] My message to the authorities is this: enough is enough.”