Youngest coup attempt victim was 15

Father of slain teen Halil Ibrahim Yildirim says his son insisted on protesting against coup plot

Youngest coup attempt victim was 15

World Bulletin / News Desk

The youngest victim of Friday's coup attempt – 15-year-old Halil Ibrahim Yildirim – had a short but heart-wrenching life story. 

Yildirim, who was born into a poor family, had to drop out of school and work in an Istanbul garage, his father, Bahattin Yildirim said.

Halil Ibrahim was at home with his family on the night of July 15, when the coup attempt began. 

His father says the boy insisted on going outside to protest against the coup. 

Bahattin decided to take to the streets of Istanbul's Bayrampasa district after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's protest call, made in a live broadcast on the CNN Turk television channel. 

"My son fell to the ground when we were walking to resist the coup plotters. Firstly I thought he tripped and fell. I said 'get up' to him. But my son was not moving," Bahattin says. 

Bahattin says after touching Halil Ibrahim's head, his hand came away wet with blood.

"At that moment, I realized that he was shot. I did not see where the bullet came from," he adds. 

Bahattin took his son to hospital but the child died of his injuries.

One of Halil Ibrahim Yildirim's four siblings – 13-year-old Mustafa – says he loved his brother:

"We had a common dream. We used to want to travel other countries. The ones who carried out this [coup attempt] killed my brother and stole our dreams," he says. 

"My brother went outside for his country and nation. He fought with the coup plotters. I am proud of my brother," Mustafa adds.

Turkey's government has said the attempted coup was organized by followers of U.S.-based cleric Fetullah Gulen, who is accused of a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through infiltrating Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary, forming a ‘parallel state’.

At least 246 people, including members of the security forces and civilians, were martyred during the failed putsch and over 1,530 others were wounded as they protested against it.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 21 Temmuz 2016, 16:38