Slain Diyarbakır bar head Elçi remembered on anniversary of murder
ISTANBULTahir Elçi, the Diyarbakır Bar Association head who was killed in an armed clash in November 2015 in Diyarbakır, was remembered on the anniversary of his murder in Istanbul and the southeastern province of Diyarbakır.
The commemoration in Istanbul was organized by the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and included the reading of a message from imprisoned HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş.
“His legacy to us is to speak the truth in every condition, and we will never retreat from it,” Demirtaş’s message read.
Another commemoration was held in Diyarbakır with the participation of Türkan Elçi, the lawyer’s widow.
Members of the Diyarbakır bar, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul lawmaker Sezgin Tanrıkulu, HDP lawmakers Meral Danış Beştaş and Ahmet Yıldırım and representatives of NGOs also attended the commemoration.
“This case should be solved as soon as possible,” Diyarbakır Bar Head Ahmet Özmen said, adding that society had a debt to pay to the bar head.
Elçi’s murder is becoming an unsolved murder, Türkan Elçi said.
“There is no indictment, no witness and no suspect,” she told daily Cumhuriyet on Nov. 28, adding that she was losing hope as time goes by.
“I lose hope when I see the stories on the murder in the news because you feel that the majority of the efforts aren’t directed toward finding the criminal,” she said.
“Tahir’s murder is one that no one wants to claim. We can say that the fact that the murder hasn’t been claimed shows how the killers became afraid in the face of Tahir’s purity, innocence and bravery,” she added.
During her interview, Elçi stressed that it was important to find the killer and not who the killer is.
“The issue of who pulled the trigger never meant much to me. A murderer is a murderer. It’s not significant who the killer is. The only important thing is the finding of the killer. The finding of the murderer won’t decrease the pain of losing [my husband],” she said.
A militant of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) claimed in June to have witnessed the murder of Elçi by another PKK militant during clashes between police and unknown perpetrators on Nov. 28, 2015.
An expert report released on May 4 and prepared by a team of five experts concluded it was no longer possible to determine medically and physically how Elçi was killed, based on the existing data.
Officials are ostensibly still probing whether Elçi was murdered on purpose or whether he was killed during the clash between police and PKK militants.
Prosecutors could not conduct investigations at the crime scene after the killing due to ongoing clashes.
Elçi, a lawyer and a human rights activist, had been receiving death threats after saying on CNN Türk that he did not view the PKK as a terrorist organization.