HUNDREDS of people joined a peaceful protest following the death of Bournemouth boy Mehmet Altun.

Mehmet, 13, died on Thursday, August 19, after a suspected drug overdose.

His family arranged the demonstration in Bournemouth town centre with members of the community to highlight the issue of drugs across the area.

A large crowd gathered at Pier Approach on Saturday before the protest proceeded to walk through the Lower Gardens, ending at the Square.

Throughout the walk, there was continual chanting about the need to protect children and tackle drug problems across the BCP Council area.

Bournemouth Echo:

At the Square, the protestors gathered outside Obscura Cafe before several speeches were given.

Israfil Erbil, chairman of the British Alevi Federation, gave a passionate and moving talk to the crowd.

"Today we aim to raise awareness regarding the dangers of deadly drugs and illegally substances," said Mr Erbil.

"We are calling on Dorset Police, local authorities, ethnic representatives and the community to support us in our fight to tackle the supply of illegal drugs.

"This is not a problem faced only by Bournemouth. Across the UK and all around the world communities have lost young members to drugs."

Bournemouth Echo:

Mr Erbil called on more investment in youth and social services.

Mehmet's sister thanked those who attended the protest and given their support to the family.

She went on to read the tribute her mother paid to Memhet earlier this week.

Councillor Laurence Fear, who represents Kinson ward where Mehmet's family run a convenience store, said: "This isn't just one part of the community, this is all of our community that this has affected.

"Throughout Bournemouth we have so many different varieties of people who live here, work here and when something as tragic as this happens, we all come together.

"I have heard the messages walking through with you today on the demonstration. I have been humbled and very proud to be alongside you.

"Moving forward, I will take a message back to the council about the issues that have been raised today.

"Just the last thing I can say is, we will do better, we will not let Mehmet be left to be forgotten as another statistic. He will be a positive reminder of what can be done when we come together."

Bournemouth Echo:

As reported, police were called to Columbia Road on August 19 by the ambulance service, who were responding to an “extremely unwell” boy.

Detective Inspector Neil Third said the force currently suspects that Mehmet died of a drugs overdose.

A 14-year-old boy from Bournemouth was arrested on suspicion of supplying a controlled drug of class A. He was released under investigation.

Paying tribute to her only son earlier this week, Aynur Altun said: “Mehmet was always a pure soul.

Bournemouth Echo: Mehmet Altun. Picture provided by his familyMehmet Altun. Picture provided by his family

"He treated everybody the way that he wanted to be treated; with respect and joy. Just like any other child, he loved affection and attention.

“Anyone that knew him personally, whether that may be family or friend, would say that Mehmet would never hurt a living being.

“He was scared of dogs and cats and would always be by my side, at home or outside.”