🔴 Eight years after the unsolved murder of Kurdish lawyer Tahir Elçi in Diyarbakir (Amed), Turkey, a memorial service reignited calls for justice and accountability.#TahirElci | #JusticeForALL | #TwitterKurds
— MedyaNews (@1MedyaNews) November 28, 2023
The eighth anniversary of the unsolved murder of Tahir Elçi, a distinguished Kurdish lawyer and Bar Association president, was remembered on Tuesday in Diyarbakir (Amed), Turkey, with attendees urging for clarity on what they believe to have been a strategic political manoeuvre aimed at commencing a period of turmoil in 2015.
On the anniversary of the assassination, 28 November, a commemorative gathering was held at the historic Four-Legged Minaret in Diyarbakir’s Sûr district, where Elçi was killed.
The event attracted Elçi’s family, Tülay Hatimoğulları, co-chair of the Peoples’ Equality and Democracy Party (HEDEP), Erinç Sağkan, president of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations (TBB), several MPs, other bar association presidents and human rights activists. They walked to the assassination site, carrying a banner saying, “We will not forget you”, in Kurdish.
Amid slogans like “Martyrs never die” and “Tahir Elçi is immortal”, participants listened to the late Elçi’s speeches and songs by Ahmet Kaya. Nahit Eren, President of the Amed Bar Association, expressed deep regret over the ongoing regional and global conflicts, emphasising the unmet aspiration for a nation where human rights are paramount, and the Kurdish issue is democratically resolved. He bemoaned the devastation of culturally and historically significant cities and the loss of human lives.
Eren criticised the unresolved nature of Elçi’s murder, stating, “For eight years, despite assurances, the perpetrator remains unidentified.” He condemned the government for failing to uphold its responsibilities, labelling Elçi’s murder a political plot intended to usher in a dark period starting in 2015. Eren stressed the importance of a collective and political determination to shed light on all aspects of Elçi’s assassination and the troubling situation it symbolises.
He urged for the elucidation of the murder, criticising the insufficient indictment and the protracted prosecution process. Eren called for the trial to be conducted with the gravity it warrants and to meet the public’s demand for justice. “Tahir Elçi was our most valuable,” he declared, affirming their unwavering resolve to reveal the truth.
Türkan Elçi, reflecting on their halted lives, remarked, “Every year beneath this minaret, we seek justice and our rights as citizens.” She contemplated the interplay of darkness and light amid national upheaval and the erasure of their city’s cultural and historical memory.
Erinç Sağkan of the TBB voiced the collective sense of embarrassment and guilt among those demanding justice for Elçi, asserting that the true disgrace lies with those who intentionally left the murder unresolved. He pledged to persist in the search for justice, vowing to expose and hold accountable all those involved in Elçi’s murder, regardless of how long it takes.