The Diyarbakır (Amed) Bar Association held a march in Diyarbakır in Turkey to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the murder of Tahir Elçi. Cihan Aydın, chair of the Diyarbakır (Amed) Bar Association, stated that they were searching for the perpetrators who were being protected by a thick veil of secrecy, leading to their impunity.
Former Diyarbakır Bar Association Chair Tahir Elçi was shot to death by police in front of the historical structure the Four-legged-Minaret five years ago in Diyarbakır.
There is a danger that Elçi’s murderers may remain unidentified in much the same way that many political murders have also taken place in Turkey where the murderers have remained unidentified. The Diyarbakır Bar Association held a commemoration event to mark the fifth anniversary of his death. Elçi’s wife Türkan Elçi, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chair Mithat Sancar, Democratic Society Congress (DTK) Co-Chair Leyla Güven, Democratic Regions Party (DBP) Co-Chair Saliha Aydeniz, Diyarbakır Bar Association Chair Cihan Aydın and other executives attended the event.
Aydın issued a statement on behalf of the Diyarbakır (Amed) Bar Association: “Exactly five years have passed since the murder of our Bar Chairperson Tahir Elçi in this place where we now stand.We are searching for the perpetrators of the murder, who have remained protected by a thick veil of secrecy, leading to their impunity, for five years”.
Regarding the Kurdish question, Aydın stated: “The issue has been totally left to the security burocracy. The deadlocked policy continues to take lives and hurt people. Freedom of expression and freedom of the press are under heavy threat. Thousands of people are under the threat of investigation and prosecution on the grounds that they shared their ideas on social media and other communication platforms. Likewise, tens of journalists are in prison for carrying out their jobs in accordance with their profession’s ethics. Prisons have turned into the persistent place of residence for politicians, NGO representatives and journalists due to their ideas. Every year, several prisoners’ bodies who could not access medical treatment are taken out of the prisons”.
After the address and remembrance event, cloves were placed where Tahir Elçi was murdered. Those in attendance then visited the cemetery where Elçi was buried. HDP co-chair Mithat Sancar spoke at Elçi’s graveside, again noting how Elçi had been targeted after he expressed his ideas in a TV channel and had been the subject of a political lynching for days. The commemoration ended with cloves being left by his graveside.