The indictment over teenager Berkin Elvan's death during the Gezi Park riots in 2013 was completed after three and a half years, with the prosecutor demanding life imprisonment for a police officer on charges of murder with eventual intent.
The indictment, completed by the Istanbul Public Prosecutor's Office which said Elvan died after a suspected police officer fired a tear gas canister that fatally struck his head, was sent to Istanbul's 17th Criminal Court.
Elvan was heavily injured from his head on June 16, 2013 during violent protests in Istanbul's Okmeydanı neighborhood, an area where the far-left Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) has significant presence.
The 15-year-old died on March 11, 2014 after spending 269 days in a coma.
The suspected officer said in his testimony that he was among the police officers stationed in Okmeydanı on June 16, and they drove out a group of protesters from the E-5 highway – one of Istanbul's main arteries – into Okmeydanı, adding that the dispersed groups gathered again and showed resistance against riot police, thus their intervention continued in the neighborhood.
The prosecutor's office decided not to prosecute 42 other police officers who were questioned during the investigation.
Meanwhile, the accused officer has said that he does not remember whether he used the gas canister launcher.
According to a police statement, 11 firecrackers were found on Elvan. Firecrackers are commonly used by protesters against riot police units. Elvan's family previously claimed that their son went outside to buy some bread.
The previous prosecutor in the case, Mehmet Selim Kiraz, was murdered by DHKP-C terrorists on March 31, 2015 after he was taken hostage in his office in Istanbul's Çağlayan Courthouse.
The police were criticized for using excessive force on protesters during the Gezi Park protests, which was among the key reasons that turned a small environmental protest into nationwide riots.
One of the most criticized issues during police interventions was directly firing gas canisters on protesters despite clear instructions, causing many people to suffer skull fractures and loss in sight.
Following Elvan's funeral ceremony in Istanbul on March 12, 2015, which attracted tens of thousands, 22-year-old Burak Can Karamanoğlu was shot dead when a scuffle between two groups turned into an armed fight.