Greece Bans Protests Amid Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoğlu’s Visit
Athens is bracing for a tense weekend after the Greek government banned protests during the two-day official visit of Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu.
Turkish Prime Minister Davutoğlu will head a large delegation of ministers who will attend the Greek-Turkish High-Level Cooperation Council in Athens.
After the Turkish teenager Berkin Elvan died in March following nearly nine months in a coma due to injuries sustained after being hit by a police tear gas canister during the Gezi protests, many Greek protesters commemorated him by carrying his picture alongside one of Grigoropoulos which coincides with commemorations for the 2008 murder of teenager Alexis Grigoropoulos on Dec. 6 The story of both teenagers killed in similar circumstances at the same age became the symbols of the muscled police crackdowns of protesters in both countries.
The 15-year-old Grigoropoulos was killed by a shot to the chest during an evening patrol during mass protests in Greece in 2008. Protesters say the innocent boy was killed by police, while the police claims acting in self-defense after a group of youths attacked officers.
Hundreds of Greeks attend the commemoration of Grigoropoulos’ killing every year.
Greek media says the ban will be imposed along the routes that Davutoğlu is expected to take during his visit, including the iconic Syntagma Square, which, just like Taksim Square in Istanbul, became the center of anti-government protests.
Despite the ban, student protests are scheduled outside the Athens University.
Davutoğlu is scheduled to arrive in Greece on the afternoon of Dec. 5.