Birgun: “If the resistance succeeds I won’t feel sorry for being injured”

Tens of people are injured due to police violence which is backed by gandarmerie after PM Erdoğan’s directive to disperse the protesting groups. Many of the injured are taken into treatment at Şişli Etfal Hospital and new casualities arrived at ER through the night.

Some of the eye injuries are caused by plastic bullets and many others are hit by tear gas canisters. There are also people with skin burns caused by chemically enhanced water cannons fired from TOMA (Riot control vehicles).

Chemical water cannon fired at Evrensel newspaper journalist

The moment we steped in the hospital courtyard, our eyes and throat started to burn as there were still tear gas being fired in the neighbourhood around hospital. We bumped into people with gas masks and hard hats right in front of ER entrance. They wanted to take refuge in the hospital escaping the police attack. When we entered ER we first came across Deniz İlgün, a journalist from Evrensel Newspaper. She was under treatment; she was injured by the chemical water cannon fired from TOMA.

A tear gas canister hit him right in fron of his home

As we walked further down the corridors of ER, we saw two women weeping in front an emergency room. Woman’s son was shot by a tear gas canister. As he had cerebral hemorrhage he was immediately taken into operation. His name is Umut Polat and he is 27. We talked to his cousin. He told us that Umut was hit by a canister on his head as he left his home in Pangaltı. The othe woman is worried about her brother who was hit by a plastic bullet on his eye. He was undergoing an operation as well.

Four cops beat him with a shovel

In time, number of casulties increased. A patient with head injury was brought to ER. A tomography was taken at once. Then another man came in with a swollen and bruised eye. His name is Metin Oktay. He took refuge at the basement of a nearby building and four cops followed him there. He told that the police attacked and beat him with sticks and a shovel they found there.

Then a young man arrived with burns all over his body. His name is Gürkan Kalmaz. He came under a chemical water cannon attack. And we saw another person with similar burns and bandages.

“I won’t feel sorry”

Later we went up to the 6th floor where there is an eye clinic. We are looking for people with eye injuries. Two women approach us as they understand that we are form press. One of them is Hatice Aslan’s (22) mother; Hatice lost an eye during a police attack in Taksim on Tuesday. She was together with her daughter at Gezi Park. She felt faint while her daughter was shot at her eye with a plastic bullet. She only heard her shouting ‘mum’. Hatice was taken into operation immediately but her eye couldn’t be saved. We visited Hatice in her room. She says, “I wouldn’t feel sorry if resistance succeeds and yields a positive outcome, I won’t even say that I’ve lost an eye. But it turns out to be negative I’m going to curse at the government until my last breath.”

His eye glasses saved him

Then we visit Garip Görür, Cinema Workers Union board member. He was shot by a plastic bullet on the evening when police stormed into Gezi Park with TOMA and firing tear gas. He was standing in front of the union’s corner. He was saved from losing his eye because he was wearing eye glasses. Broken glass pieces were cleared out his eye with an operation.

Görür shares his room with another injured person. He was shot at the same attack. He was deep asleep when we were there. His name is Murat Can Top. Police raided the street where he was hanging out with his group of friends. He was shot by a plastic bullet on his malar bone.

Lawyers are drawing up records

Six lawyers are keeping records of the injured at the hospital. People tell their stories to the lawyers in order to get things documented. Some of the notes taken by the lawyers are as follows:

- Time 8 pm

While we were walking down Halaskargazi avenue, police and gandarmerie TOMA without any warning fired water cannons with unidentified liquid content

-On the street going down from Tünel to Şişhane, while we were completely blinded by the gas and helping each other, a tear gas canister hit me on the head. I have stitches on my head.

-Civil police broke windows of some cars in Şişli. We were protesting and claping from the windows in our house. Police threw tear gas at us. I passed out.

Doctors protest the police

At around 2:00 am, some noise echoed at the entrance of Şişli Etfal Hospital courtyard. Sound of a tear gas fired by the police while chasing a protestor who ran into the hospital. The gas reached ER. Protestors came right infront of ER and the police after them. They wanted to take those people into custody. However, doctors, lawyers, families and friends of the injured protested the police. There was a brief uproar and the police had to drive away leaving a strong sense of anger behind.

Elçin Yıldıral

18 June 2013


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