On May 22, as the rescue efforts in Soma coalmine grind to a halt, street protests in Istanbul’s Okmeydani flare up. A group of high school kids gather to protest the deaths of over 300 miners, and they want to commemorate Berkin Elvan.
Police intervene heavy-handedly. A young man, Ugur Kurt, an innocent bystander attending a funeral at the house of worship for Alawites (Cem Evi, house of gathering) is shot and killed by the police. Several others are wounded by tear gas canisters. One man, who also has been shot is left on the street to bleed out before an ambulance can arrive at the scene. Ayhan Yilmaz dies the next day.
On May 23, hundreds gather for Ugur Kurt’s funeral in Okmeydani, where signs of previous night’s clashes are visible everywhere. The funeral takes place in the same place where he was killed the day before. The spot where he bled out is covered by a white cloth, while the street corner where Yilmaz bled to death is marked by red carnations.