Tahir Elçi

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Tahir Elçi
Tahir Elçi (cropped).jpg
Personal details
Born 1966
Cizre, Şırnak Province, Turkey
Died November 28, 2015(2015-11-28) (aged 48–49)
Diyarbakır, Turkey
Education Law
Occupation Lawyer, activist

Tahir Elçi (1966 – November 28, 2015) was a Kurdish lawyer and the chairman of Diyarbakır Bar Association. He was assassinated in the Sur district of Diyarbakir in southeastern Turkey on 28 November 2015.[1][2] He was shot once in the head while giving a press statement beside the "Four-legged Minaret" of the Sheikh Matar Mosque calling for an end to violence.[1]

Elçi was detained several times and received death threats after saying the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) should not be regarded as a terrorist organization.[3] In October 2015, Elçi was detained by Turkish authorities on charges of disseminating "terrorist propaganda" on behalf of the PKK.[1][4] On 23 March 2014, he was the lawyer of the Kuşkonar massacre case in the ECHR, in which Turkey was condemned for massacring Kurdish civilians and blaming the PKK.

Controversy surrounding death[edit]

The Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) called the shooting a "planned assassination," and protests erupted in Turkey after Elçi's killing.[1] Elçi's brother Ahmet Elçi was quoted as saying that his brother was "murdered by the state."[5] A Turkish official later issued a statement saying that "we aren't ruling out the possibility that a third party directly targeted him."[3] Turkish authorities claim that the PKK might be behind the assassination.[6] In June 2016, Turkish authorities claimed that a captured militant have witnessed PKK militants Uğur Yakışır and Mahsum Gürkhan open fire upon Tahir Elçi the moment he collapsed dead.[7][8][9]

Anti-government protests in Turkey with crowds shouting "You can't kill us all" followed the attack.[1][3]

The HDP leader Selahattin Demirtaş claimed in his interview on IMC TV that according to their investigators, the bullet which killed Tahir Elçi was fired by a Turkish police officer.[10]

See also[edit]