A group of lawyers representing the intervening party in the case of the murder of Deniz Poyraz, a member of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), made statements emphasizing a number of flaws in the investigation.
HDP member Deniz Poyraz was killed on 17 June 2021 at the party’s headquarters in Turkey’s western city of Izmir, and the assailant, Onur Gencer, was captured at the scene with his gun. Social media posts of Gencer with photos showing him carrying an assault rifle and saying ‘Back from mission,’ or showing him making the finger sign of the Grey Wolves (militants of the Nationalist Movement Party) were subsequently revealed.
At a press conference on Monday, lawyer Türkan Aslan Agaç drew attention especially to three issues of particular importance:
1. The contents of the bag seized on the assailant at the crime scene has neither been documented in the case file, nor have they been registered as evidence.
2. The recordings of the assailant’s numerous phone calls to Izmir Police Department before the incident are missing and police officials simply state that they do not have the recordings.
3. Although the social media activities of the assailant show that he’s been in touch mostly with people from circles within the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), no investigation has been carried out in this context.
Indicating that both the prosecutor and the police department looked determined not to investigate all aspects of the political murder, Türkan Aslan Agaç detailed the flaws, starting with the negligence in investigating why the police teams situated around the HDP headquarters on the day of the incident had failed or declined to intervene.
She then said that a number of missing items of evidence were apparent and the situation needed explanation: “The items seized on the assailant as he was taken into custody were documented. However, we observed that this does not include the contents of the assailant’s bag.
“It requires explanation why the bag’s contents haven’t been separately documented and the contents haven’t been registered as evidence. If not explained, the public will inevitably have an impression that some of the evidence has been tampered with.”
She also drew attention to the dead end they were faced with in their efforts to have the assailant’s phone calls to the police department investigated.
“Another important point is that historical traffic searches revealed that the assailant called Izmir Police Department even as recently as a day before the attack.
“We appealed to be able to listen to the voice recordings revealing who and which departments he called. However, the police department responded simply by saying that they didn’t have the recordings. The process concerning our appeal has been terminated without any further investigation.”
She added that possible links between the assailant and clandestine groups within state institutions have been categorically left out of the investigation.
“The social media accounts of the assailant contain his photos with various weapons and showing him making the finger sign of a particular political party. We’ve observed in our own investigation that a great majority of the people he’s been in touch with on social media are people identifying themselves as ‘idealists’ [activists belonging to a youth organisation that has been characterised by many as MHP’s paramilitary or militant wing]. And yet, the police investigation team did not conduct an investigation into the circles he’s been in touch with,” she stated.