Mehmet Istif, a Gezi protester from Mersin who has been battling with tongue cancer for over 9 months has just lost his life. He wasn’t a victim of a disease, but a victim of the state that has been seeking remedies to suppress mass protests with chemical weapons. Mehmet Istif was sprayed pepper gas into his mouth at close range by the Turkish police, intentionally. It is yet another state murder.
After being diagnosed with tongue base cancer his statement on what happened that day was: “I noticed a riot cop who was detecting my every move just before the attack started, he was carrying a gas cylinder. The moment that the pressured water and gas attack started, people were left behind the police blockade falling onto each other. I used my body to cover and shield a friend who could not get up because of the gas so that he wouldn’t be ran over by running policemen. I don’t remember how many times I was hit with baton blows. At that moment we came across the same cop who was following me and carrying a gas cylinder. From about a 40 centimetre distance he pulled the trigger and the high pressured gas went into my mouth, I couldn’t find any time to close my mouth. I started screaming from the pain caused by the gas filling my mouth and throat. I thought everybody who was exposed to the gas were having the same symptoms and I did not go to a hospital because I was afraid that I’d be arrested.”
Call outs for demonstrations:
Izmir at 7pm, in front of Sevinc pastry
6.30pm Ankara, Guvenpark
6.30pm Antalya, kapaliyol