Blinded by a tear gas cannister!

A group of about 200 demonstrators marched on the Antalya headquarters of the ruling AK Party on Saturday evening, The headquarters, located on the main street (Gazi Bulvarı) was attacked with Molotov cocktails and stones. Riot police responded with high pressure water canons and tear gas. In the battle ensuing, Vedat Oğuz received a direct hit to his eye and was taken to hospital by an ambulance. Despite the efforts of the doctors efforts, Oğuz lost sight in his right eye.


Vedat speaks to us, for the first time since his release from the hospital, from his home in Kepez.

Referring the indiscriminate amount of force used by the police, he goes on to say: “Suddenly all hell broke loose. A smoke bomb canister, fired from about 5 or 6 metres away, hit me directly in the eye. I fell to the ground and the next thing I knew, I was in the hospital’’.

‘If those responsible aren’t found, I’ll have no faith left in the state or the government.’

If those responsible are not brought to justice, I will never take the government, the government or the judiciary seriously again. I will never approach them again, and I will steer clear of them. I want my eye back. Since they took my eye, they should give it back.’’ Abdülkerim Oğuz, Vedat’s father, also wants those responsible for the loss of his sons’ sight, to be tried and prosecuted.

 The incident was witnessed by his holder brother and a friend.

Vedat’s older brother Azat, and his friend İsmail G, came to his help a few minutes after the unfortunate incident. Azat said that his brother has been psychologically affected by his injury whilst Ismail G. maintains that security forces deliberately aimed the canister at his face, albeit from a close distance of 5 or 6 meters. He went on to say that he quite a  distance away from Vedat when he was hit: “After being struck by a tear gas shell, I took his T shirt off and placed it over his face. He fell down after walking a few metres. I took my friend away from the police. Some people tried to assist and then called for the paramedics. I want those responsible for this to be tried in a court of law. We will follow this case to its logical conclusion.”

14 June 2013

    This post is also available in: Turkish