Tahir Elçi’s Struggle to Continue at the Tahir Elçi Human Rights Foundation

Tahir Elçi’s Struggle to Continue at the Tahir Elçi Human Rights Foundation

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Click to read the article in Turkish

The Tahir Elçi Human Rights Foundation has been founded in the name of Tahir Elçi, the late chair of the Diyarbakır Bar Association who was killed on November 28, 2015.

The foundation will operate in the mostly Kurdish-populated southeastern province of Diyarbakır, with Elçi's wife, Türkan Elçi, acting as the board chair. Lawyer Neşet Girasun, a colleague of Elçi, will be the deputy board chair.

The foundation will work on the social and political problems to be solved through peaceful methods.

Roboski families attended the opening

Along with Türkan Elçi, a large number of lawyers and the families of those who were killed in the Roboski Massacre attended the opening reception of the foundation.

After a video that tells the legal struggle of Tahir Elçi was screened, Türkan Elçi made a statement and told about the aim of the foundation.

"To create a world out of the voice of justice"

"Like in different times in history, we witnessed rights violations, destruction of cities, recorded or unrecorded deaths that we have difficulties even talking about in the last few years. We too witnessed a pain that we will carry with ourselves until we die.

"Despite everything, we tried to make a heart suffering inside courageous. We made it our aim for ourselves to found a foundation as a family to the pain inside us not turn into hatred and hate, on the contrary, to turn into a platform that is unifying and inclusive for all the parts of the society.

"An independent stance for defending only the truth is essential for us. Our only aim is that to create a world out of the voice of the justice, to make the language of togetherness, law, justice, grace, kindness prevail, and strengthening the culture of tolerance by reaching people from every part of the society with this language."

The killing of Tahir Elçi

Tahir Elçi, who was the Chair of Diyarbakır Bar Association, was murdered in front of the Four-Legged Minaret in Sur in Turkey's southeastern province of Diyarbakır on November 28, 2015 during a statement for the press.

Though it has been three years since the murder of Tahir Elçi, the perpetrators have still not been brought to justice.

The investigation into his murder has proceeded as follows:

* Two chief prosecutors and four prosecutors conducting the investigation have been changed so far.

* Four law enforcement officers who were seen to be shooting in the direction of Elçi in the video footages were listened only as witnesses.

* While the examination of the video footages captured by the surveillance cameras of the shops in the vicinity of the scene of incident has remained inconclusive, the fourth camera of the Mardin Kebab House, which was positioned in such a way to capture the murder, "was not working".

* In the video footage captured by the police cameras, there is a 13-second gap, including the moment when Elçi was shot.

* Despite the applications submitted by the attorneys of Elçi family to the Prosecutor's Office, the memory card of the police camera is not found.

* No criminal investigation has been conducted on the weapons of over 30 police officers who were on the street at the time of incident.

(HA/VK)

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