Tahir Elçi remembered on the eighth anniversary of his death

Tahir Elçi, President of Diyarbakır Bar Association, who was murdered eight years ago, was remembered in Amed.

Tahir Elçi, and the former president of the Diyarbakır Bar Association, was shot deat in Amed (Diyarbakır) eight years ago. The Kurdish human rights lawyer was the target of massive lynching after he had participated in the 'Neutral Zone' program presented by Ahmet Hakan at CNN Türk on 14 October 2015. Asked by Hakan whether the PKK was a terrorist organization, Elçi answered: "The PKK is not a terrorist organization, but an armed political movement whose political demands enjoy great support among the people." Elçi was arrested shortly afterwards and only released on conditional release. On 28 November 2015, he was shot dead during a press conference in the old town of Amed. Immediately before his death, Tahir Elçi appealed to journalists for peace in the region: "In this area, which was home to so many civilisations, we want no gunfire, no violence and no operations," he said, then shots were fired. He was hit in the head by a bullet and died on the spot. At the time, curfews were in place in a number of Kurdish cities as part of the military siege, including the district of Sur. As a result, many places were literally razed to the ground.

Elçi was first remembered at the scene of his murder. The commemoration, which took place after a march from the Courthouse, was attended by a number of people, including HEDEP (Peoples’ Democracy and Equality Party) Co-Chair Tülay Hatimoğulları, Turkish Bar Association (TBB) President Erinç Sağkan, deputies, presidents of bar associations and human rights advocates.

Speaking here, Nahit Eren, President of the Diyarbakır Bar Association, stated that the murder of Tahir Elçi was a political operation by those who sought to pave the way for a dark period in 2015. criticised the "unwillingness" of the Turkish judiciary to solve Elçi's murder, even though the perpetrators are known. He emphasised that the fight for justice for Elçi would continue until the perpetrators were brought to light and sentenced.

TBB President Erinç Sağkan vowed to continue their struggle until justice is done for those responsible for the murder of Tahir Elçi.

Another commemoration for Tahir Elçi took place at his grave in a cemetery in the central Bağlar district with the participation of family members, lawyers and actors from politics and civil society.

Speaking here, HEDEP deputy co-chair Öztürk Türkdoğan said: "Tahir Elçi campaigned for peace in Kurdistan. He paid the price for this with his life."

The deputy parliamentary group leader of the CHP in the Turkish parliament, Ali Mahir Başarır, also criticised the fact that the Elçi murder case remains legally unsolved to this day. "Our joint message to Turkey as representatives of the bar associations and members of parliament is: We will not rest until justice is done." After further speeches, red carnations were laid at Elçi's grave before the cemetery was left in a silent march.