Turkish court says killing of protester in Diyarbakır investigated insufficiently

Turkish court says killing of protester in Diyarbakır investigated insufficiently

Turkish court says killing of protester in Diyarbakır investigated insufficiently A court in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır has ruled that the killing of 19-year-old Medeni Yıldırım, who protested outside the building of a new police post in the Lice district in June 2013, was not sufficiently investigated. 

The court, which had earlier acquitted soldier Adem Çiftçi, who was tried without arrest, had initially said that Yıldırım was hit as a result of a bullet that was fired into the air. The court in recent statements said that an effective investigation into the incident was not done, prompting it to file a complaint to a prosecutor’s office to reveal the real perpetrators of the murder. 

On June 28, 2013, a group consisting of 150 to 200 people gathered and shouted slogans in front of the police station’s construction site, according to the decision of the court, adding that heavy construction machinery and tents in the construction site were set on fire. 

The court said Yıldırım was shot unintentionally after soldiers at the protest fired into the air to disperse the crowd and stop the masses from growing, but had later succumbed to his injuries in a hospital he was taken to. It revealed that no cartridge bullet was found in Yıldırım’s body during an autopsy.

“Many empty cases were found in the scene. A criminal investigation into the empty cases and weapons found in the police post was carried out. However, a certain and credible finding suggests that Yıldırım, who was earlier believed to be shot with a bullet from a suspect’s weapon, was not actually shot as there was no evidence found to match the initial findings. Plenty of empty cases were found in the scene and it is believed that a high number of military personnel were firing,” the court said, adding that Çiftçi was acquitted for this reason.

Taking into account the aspects of the incident, crime scene investigation reports, expertise reports, footages, victim and witness statements, and other evidences, the court said it determined that the investigation was carried out insufficiently, while noting that a file was compiled and sent to the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office to find the real perpetrators of the murder. 

The nonsuit decision for the Kayacık Gendarmerie Police Post commander and the Gendarmerie Special Forces Team commander, who gave the orders to use the weapons, was lifted after Yıldırım’s family and the lawyers of other wounded victims objected. The two were accused of “misconduct” and “causing more than one person to get wounded involuntarily.”

The Diyarbakır Fifth Heavy Penal Court, which had earlier lifted the nonsuit decision, has ruled that the file should be sent to the Lice Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in order to reopen the case.