Gone with the wind…
Tahir Elçi, the former head of the Diyarbakır Bar Association, was killed in broad daylight - broadcast live on TV - while making a press statement in front of Diyarbakır’s famous Four-Legged Minaret on Nov. 28, 2015.
Elçi’s assassin remains unknown. He was killed in a chase after an armed clash in which police officer Ahmet Çiftaslan was killed and two other officers were injured, only 100 meters away.
Statements coming from the highest ranks of the government were made after the incident, which happened as the police was chasing two outlawed Revolutionary Youth Patriotic Movement (YDG-H) members.
“I extend my condolences to the respected Elçi and our martyred police officer. This incident has proved Turkey’s determination in fighting terror,” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had said, while announcing the incident during the opening ceremony of a facility in Burhaniye in the Aegean province of Balıkesir.
The art of public statements
Then-Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu had extended his condolences to Tahir Elçi’s wife, Türkan Elçi, vowing: “This incident shall be solved. Unsolved murders won’t happen during our administration. An administrative investigation shall be conducted immediately and the results shall be announced to the public. The target here is not Tahir Elçi. The target is Turkey.”
Then-Interior Minister Efkan Ala was also quite stern on the issue.
“Four inspectors are assigned to the case to carry out a thorough investigation. The case shall be solved. The attack is against our nation’s unity and solidarity,” he said.
Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ had also vowed: “We will monitor the investigation closely as the administration. All possibilities will be evaluated and checked. I want all our brothers and sisters from Diyarbakır to know that the case will be examined thoroughly and what’s required will be done. The Turkish public will bear witness to this.”
And then what happened?
Not a mile, not half a mile, not even quarter of a mile of distance was covered on this path, despite all the official statements made.
For example, the examination was done 110 days after the killing, while armed conflict between the Turkish government and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Diyarbakır was ongoing.
The prosecutor overseeing the case was changed three times.
No one was caught or identified as the “suspect” or the “assassin” in the case.
The Justice Ministry’s written answer to the questions “Where do we stand in the case?” and “Which prosecutor is overseeing it?” is worth mentioning.
“No information was given on the changes in the district of the chief prosecutor as it remains unknown who the prosecutor handling the case is,” the ministry had said.
A case in which the Justice Ministry is unaware of whom the prosecutor is...
Was it an unsolved murder or not?
On the anniversary of Elçi’s death, Sezgin Tanrıkulu, a main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy, at the spot where Elçi was murdered said: “There is a 13-second gap in the security footage. Footage from the cameras of the shops in the neighborhood has been taken away, while many were simply deleted. The officers who saw Tahir Elçi being shot or the officers who fired shots have not been interrogated as ‘suspects’ of the case.”
Is patience a virtue?
And what happened to those four inspectors whom Ala had announced?
Hüseyin Şimşek’s report in daily BirGün on Dec. 20 gave us some clues on this.
The report of the failures and negligence regarding the incident, written by two civil chief inspectors and two police chief inspectors who talked to 24 police officers two years ago, has not been put into process. It is “pending.”
All the same...
What a shame...