Tens of Thousands Mourn Passing of Human Rights Lawyer, Assassinated by Turkish State

29th November 2015
ANF – Amed

Tens of thousands bid farewell to Amed (Diyarbakir) Bar Association Chairman Tahir Elçi, who was murdered in Sur district yesterday.

Masses flocked to the Koşu Yolu Park as of early Sunday morning for the funeral for human rights defender Tahir Elçi, who spent his life fighting against extrajudicial murders, until he became a victim of one yesterday.

Speaking here, Elçi’s wife Türkan Elçi said; “Victims of extrajudicial murders will welcome you now. There is no need to introduce you, all the victims and the world know very well. We are watching you from here. Victims of these murders, to which you dedicated your life, will say ‘You defended us, but who will defend you?’. And he will answer; ‘I have comrades, friends and family standing by my side. History will understand me.”

Speaking after, Tahir Elçi’s brother Ahmet Elçi said the following; “The prosecutors, judges and media of the state fingered my brother as a target. My brother is not our first martyr, nor will he be the last one. The cruel and fascist cowards should know very well that they will never be able to intimidate the Kurdish people who will resist till the end. Tahir hasn’t died. He will never die. He was a free person. The state can put our hands in handcuffs but never our minds and ideas. We are free and we will resist together with our people and friends. Our people will never surrender to occupying forces. Tahir was a brother of all socialists, Armenians, Assyrians and Kurds. As a Kurdish intellectual, he has been murdered by the state which has committed similar murders over and over throughout its history. Yet, our people will never be afraid, and we will win.”
https://i1.wp.com/anfenglish.com/article/image/06657cf4a03ef7ef40444b0c0eb29f687dcffc21_1448795704.jpeg“Em te ji bîr nakin” (We will not forget you) and “PKK is not a terror organisation” read the huge banner carried by the people on the front line of the cortege leading tens of thousands during the march to the cemetery.

Elçi’s coffin was taken from the funeral coach and carried on shoulders to the grave by his colleagues.

The funeral witnessed expressions of anger towards the Turkish state and government amid often chanted slogans “Şehid Namırın” (Martyrs are Immortal), “Murderer Erdoğan”, “PKK is the people and the people are here”.

“We never surrendered” read the banners people carried at the funeral.

Human rights and peace defender Tahir Elçi was later laid to rest to the accompaniment of “Şehid Namırın” slogan. Carnations were left on his grave after his burial.

With a few words near Elçi’s grave, his elder brother Ahmet Elçi said; “Ours is a cause for fraternity, unity, peace and our people’s freedom.”

Elçi was murdered for saying “PKK isn’t a terror organisation”

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KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) Executive Council Co-Presidency has released a statement regarding the murder of human rights defender Tahir Elçi, president of Amed Bar Association.

KCK strongly condemned the murder of Elçi “by a police bullet” and offered condolences to Elçi’s family, friends and all the people of Kurdistan.

The statement by KCK underlined that; “Amed Bar President has been pointed as a target and killed for committing the most serious crime in the eyes of the Turkish state, which is to say “PKK is not a terror organisation”. Every single person defending the same thing is being banned in Turkey. When this happens to be a well-known politician, this is responded with death. As the Turkish state makes all its sources available to the world to have the PKK recognised as a terrorist organisation, a globally known lawyer’s remarks defending the opposite constitutes a major crime. The Gladio of the Palace has thus taken urgent action, prosecuted and soon murdered him.”

KCK said the video footage from the scene clearly proves that Elçi was murdered by police as two policemen were filmed telling the perpetrator one to “run away immediately to not be seen by anyone”. According to KCK, murder of Elçi by a single bullet in the head also reveals that he was deliberately shot dead. “It is apparent that policemen had already chosen him as a target and did murder him at the most appropriate time.”

Criticizing Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s remarks that Elçi might have been caught in crossfire, KCK said this statement means nothing but an attempt to cover up the crime committed by the state itself.

“All the Kurdish people know very well that murder with a single bullet in the head is a method of punishment. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s remarks that Elçi’s murder has proved the righteousness of the anti-terror fight manifests the fact that the AKP government kills civilians to legitimate its war and aggression policy.”

Stressing that it has now become essential to form a democracy bloc to fight against the AKP, KCK called upon the Kurdish people, the peoples and democracy forces of Turkey to protest the AKP government in all areas as it keeps murdering civilians.


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