Killing of bar head might be assassination, Turkish PM says
AP photoThe killing of Tahir Elçi, the head of Diyarbakır Bar Association, in a gun attack Nov. 28 might be an assassination, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said.
“There are two possibilities,” he said during a televized speech on Nov. 28.
“One of them is an assassination,” he said, “If there is such a thing, this will be revealed,” he said.
The other possibility is that the bar head was caught between two fires during a clash between the security forces and attackers.
“Target is not only Elçi, but Turkey,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş defined the attack assassination.
“God rest souls of Mr. Elçi, who was killed in a brutal assassination today, and our martyred policeman,” he said.
Interior Minister Efkan Ala said in a press meeting that attackers shot at security forces from a car after the press meeting, killing one policeman.
One policeman was heavily wounded in the attack, as Elçi, who was at the scene, was killed during the clash, Ala said.
Four inspectors were appointed to enlighten the incident, he said.
Curfew was imposed in the Diyarbakır town of Sur, where the attack took place.
"This incident shows how righteous Turkey is in its determination in struggle against terrorism,"
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in a speech in Balıkesir, vowing to continue the struggle until the end.
The Diyarbakır Bar said in a tweet that it was an assassination.
Elçi and accompanying lawyers made a press meeting on the damage of the earlier clashes in Sur before the gun shots were heard.
Doğan News Agency quoted eye witnesses a saying that one bearded man fired at Elçi, but it is still uncertain whether the bar chief was targeted.
Anadolu Agency said the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was responsible for the attack.
Anadolu Agency reporter Aziz Aslan was also wounded.
A Turkish prosecutor demanded last month up to seven years and six months in jail for Elçi on the grounds of “making propaganda of a terror organization,” after remarks he made regarding the PKK.
The Istanbul Bakırköy Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office prepared the indictment after Elçi said “the PKK is not a terror organization” during a live TV show on private broadcaster CNNTürk on Oct. 14. It demanded that he be jailed for from one year and six months to seven years and six months.
Elçi was first detained by police in Diyarbakır late on Oct. 19 and was released on probation on Oct. 20, but he was barred from traveling out of Turkey.
The indictment was sent to the Bakırköy 2nd Court of Serious Crimes, along with a statement about why the PKK should be defined as a terror organization.