Tahir Elçi, the former chair of the Diyarbakır (Amed) Bar Association, was shot to death in front of the historical structure the Four-Legged-Minaret six years ago in Diyarbakır.
A commemoration was held for Elci, a prominent Kurdish politican and a lawyer who was murdered whilst making a press statement related to a press release about the curfews that had been declared by Turkey in the Sur district of Diyarbakir in 2015.
The commemoration began with hundreds of lawyers marching in their robes outside the Diyarbakir Courthouse. Police blockaded the front and surrounding area of the Courthouse, ahead of the march.
Tahir Elçi’s wife, Türkan Elçi, his relatives, the Democratic Regions Party (DBP) co-chair Saliha Aydeniz, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) spokesperson Ebru Günay, HDP and CHP deputies, and the chairs of the Ankara, Izmir, Adana, Mersin, Antalya, Sinop and Aydın bar associations attended the commemoration.
The crowd that gathered at the front of the Four-Legged Minaret paid tribute to Tahir Elçi and then Nahit Eren, the president of the Diyarbakir Bar Association, spoke.
“The date of the murder of Tahir Elci, 28 November 2015, was also the beginning of the ‘dark era’ that is far beyond peace and democracy in Turkey. Six years have passed since the start of that ‘dark period’ but the perpetrators were not found, and there is no justice yet for the Elci family, for the peoples,” he said.
Elci’s wife Turkan Elci spoke after him. “As a result of the attacks of the ‘dark hands’ on our unity, our brotherhood, our hope; not only our flesh, our bones, our youth, our memory but also justice as well is under the shadow of the ‘dark clouds’ now,” she said.
Carnations were placed where Tahir Elçi was murdered and those in attendance then visited the cemetery where Elçi was buried.
Before being murdered in Diyarbakir, Elçi had been targeted for days after he had expressed his views in a TV channel programme in Turkey. When he was forced to answer whether he thought that the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) was a ‘terrorist organisation,’ Elci said: “The PKK is not a ‘terrorist organisation.’ Although some of its actions can be defined as terror, the PKK is an armed political movement. It is a political movement with political demands with significant social support.”
After these statements, Elci was the subject of a political lynching for days. Earlier this year, it was reported that London University’s Forensic Architecture Department had prepared a report that had examined the photos that were taken by journalists at the crime scene at the time Elci’s murder took place. According to the examinations made, the report detected three members of the police being perpetrators of the crime, with one one of them being a “certain perpetrator.”