Syrian teenager shot dead by police in Adana

In Adana, a Syrian refugee was shot dead by a policeman on his way to work. The fatal bullet hit the victim in the heart.

Ali al-Hamdan (only 17 years old according to various media reports) was returning to his workplace, a textile studio in Seyhan district of Adana province on Monday, just after his lunch break, when he fled from a police check, according to residents. The fatal bullet hit the teenager in the back and lodged in his heart.

In Turkey, as part of the measures to contain the coronavirus, curfew remains in place for people under 20 and over 65 years of age, and for the chronically ill people. Young workers and seasonal workers in agriculture are officially exempt from the restrictions. Ali al-Hamdan worked part-time in the sewing shop to support his family financially.

Relatives of the slain refugee spoke to the Evrensel newspaper and said: "He was probably afraid of being punished, so he ran away."

Yesterday, agencies close to the government had initially reported that a youngster in Adana had been "accidentally" shot in the leg. Only when video footage appeared on social networks in the evening did the tone change in the Turkish media climate. On the recordings of a resident who filmed medical rescue team with his mobile phone during resuscitation efforts, a female voice can be heard in the background saying: "The policeman ran after the boy. He didn't stop, so he shot him - in the heart."

Meanwhile, Mahmut Demirtaş, the governor of Adana, has also come forward and announced that the policeman who shot Ali al-Hamdan has been suspended. However, the governor spoke of a "tragic accident". Ali al-Hamdan was meanwhile buried in Adana.