HDP laments judicial ‘inaction’ over lawyer Tahir Elçi’s murder
DHA photoThe Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has said Turkey’s judicial institutions have so far failed to take any steps to find the perpetrator of the Nov. 28 killing of Diyarbakır Bar Association head Tahir Elçi.
“The judiciary has so far not taken any step to solve the killing of Elçi. Step by step, it is paving the path to impunity,” said Meral Danış Beştaş, Adana deputy and co-deputy chair of the HDP, said on Dec. 7.
Elçi was killed in the Sur district of the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on Nov. 28 in broad daylight while he was making a public statement. Security forces have yet to conclude whether it was an assassination or whether he was killed in a clash between police and militants.
The bullet that killed Elçi was fired from behind his back, Beştaş said.
“This is clear and it will also be revealed through criminal investigation. I also visited the mortuary. It was a single bullet fired from behind his back, from the point where the police officers were located. These facts are enough to show that a deliberate murder was committed … a target was aimed at,” she said.
“I’m calling on the investigative authorities, the judiciary, the Interior Ministry, and the government: The whole of Turkey is discussing Elçi’s murder. There has been a serious reaction in the international field. There is a serious effort to resolve the incident on the part of human rights and legal institutions. Do not protect the murderers any more. The murderers that you have protected and had acquitted in the past are known by everybody. Don’t add another new case to these,” Beştaş added.
Refuting the HDP’s claims that Elçi was killed by a bullet fired from a police weapon, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has said militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) are to blame.
International rights groups have called on Ankara to pursue a comprehensive investigation into the incident.
“It is imperative that the Turkish authorities promptly and effectively investigate the full circumstances behind Elçi’s killing and bring those responsible to justice,” Human Rights Watch has said.
Andrew Gardner, the Turkey researcher of Amnesty International, said the investigation “already smacks of a cover up.”
“The circumstances of his killing are far from clear ... the chances of establishing the facts and the identity of the perpetrator(s) appear remote,” Gardner stated.