Turkish chief prosecutor, lawyers attacked on way to scene of bar head murder
Elçi is seen just before he was shot dead.
A team, including prosecutors and Bar Association board members, was attacked Nov. 28 by guns and bazookas as they were approaching the crime scene, where Diyarbakır Bar head Tahir Elçi and two policemen were killed earlier in the day.
The group team headed by Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor Başsavcısı Ramazan Solmaz was trying to reach the historic Four-Leg Minaret in the town of Sur in the southeastern province, where Elçi was killed in the morning, when they were attacked in the afternoon.
Two policemen were injured when a bomb hidden on the road was blasted by remote control as an armored vehicle was patrolling for security.
Prosecutor Solmaz, his deputy, other prosecutors and lawyers were then taken to a safe spot.
After the first attack, a curfew was announced in Sur.
However, gun shots and explosions were heard in the town.
Police dispersed a crowd that gathered in the town's Seyh Sayid square, using water cannons and tear gas.
Clashes spread to some districts in central Diyarbakır, where people were mostly in their houses and shops were closed.
Protesters blocked traffic in the Yenişehir district as they blocked roads in Bağlar district and clashed with the police.
A crowd that gathered on Istanbul's central İstiklal Avenue was dispersed by the police. Protests were held in other cities such as İzmir and Antalya.
The killing of Elçi 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.”
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 announced 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.