STUDENTS and young people gathered in cities across Turkey yesterday to mark the anniversary of revolutionary student leader Erdal Eren’s execution.
It was the 37th anniversary of the death of Mr Eren, who was hanged by the military regime that seized power in the 1980 coup. He was a member of the Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Association and was arrested during protests over the murder of student Sinan Suner prior to the coup.
Twenty-four students, including Mr Erdal, were held after a young soldier called Zekeriya Onge was shot dead in the crowd during clashes.
When the state carried out bone tests to determine his age, he was found to be just 17, but he was executed nonetheless on December 13 1980.
Turkey’s Youth of Labour spokesman Ozgur Polat said: “Those who slaughtered Erdal that day are now trying to run this country under a state of emergency and with decrees.
“They cannot scare us with emergency rules, decrees and bombs. We do not give up in the face of darkness. We get our strength from people like Erdal Eren, who stood up straight against oppression. We are not going to forget him and we are never going to have fear.”