Turkish Democracy Group Now Crowdfunding for NYT Ad for Berkin Elvan

Berkin Elvan

Last summer the world was mesmerized as the nation of Turkey rose in dissent against their political class.  What started as a simple protest, grew into a national movement of democracy and a demand for civil rights.  Crowdfunding became part of the movement when some of the leaders organized a campaign on Indiegogo. Quickly over-funded, the project was to run a full page advertisement in the New York Times in an attempt to share with a wider audience the nation’s struggle.

While some of the world has moved on to other current events and the never ending cycle of global news, the situation in Turkey remains strained.

Turkey Full Page Ad in NYTimes HalfToday new clashes between protesters and Turkish police broke out as news was released that the 14 year old boy – Berkin Elvan had died.

Elvan was on his way to buy bread for his family back in June of 2013.  A casualty of circumstance, the young boy was struck in the head by a tear gas canister and had been in a coma ever since that fateful day.  According to reports – 269 days to be exact.  Early this morning his family announced via Twitter that he had passed away.

As his death became known the hospital became surrounded by mourners.  Riot police showed up and the situation devolved into more clashes driven by anger and frustration with a government that too frequently appears to be tone deaf to the needs of their people.

Another crowdfunding campaign was launched today for a new ad in the New York Times. The campaign has already raised almost $20,000 of a $57,000.

Oltac UnsalOltac Unsal, one of the organizers of the campaign stated:
“Democracy in Turkey, anywhere for that matter, can only be achieved when silent masses act. Indiegogo provides us the crowd tools to reach those who can “act” towards a goal. Today we are raising money to commemorate the death of a boy at the hands of the police.”

The project declares on the campaign page;

Commemorate Berkin Elvan with a NYT Full Page Ad and tell everyone that we are awake, we will not sleep, and we will not be silenced. He did not die in vain. Thousands are in the streets as we type these words and the media is silent, government is silent.  Well, we are NOT.




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