This report is on file 7 years later – DW – 19.04.2022

The report of the administrative investigation conducted by the Interior Ministry into the murder of the President of the Diyarbakır Bar Association, Tahir Elçi, was filed seven years after the incident. It turned out that the report, which lawyers repeatedly demanded for admission into evidence during the investigation and trial, was completed on June 23, 2017.

There was a striking piece of information in the “Excluded Subjects” section at the beginning of the 56-page report prepared by two officials and a chief police inspector. In this part of the report, it was stated that it was remarkable that FT, one of the accused policemen, was directed to the rear, and not to the PKK members who had fled by his friends. Investigators said they informed the Diyarbakır General Prosecutor’s Office through an official letter dated December 22, 2015 and April 5, 2017 that the incident would be resolved if a proper solution was found, but the prosecutor’s office did not respond to them until the date to write the report, despite repeated phone calls.

There is no intelligence information on the security of Elçi’s life

The Interior Ministry Board of Inspectors investigation report included statements from 38 police officers, 11 journalists, 7 lawyers and 3 civilians who were at the scene or had information. However, 59 people whose statements were taken said they did not see the moment of Tahir Elçi’s shooting. In the report, it was stated that there was no request or information whether the safety of Elçi’s life was in danger, and there was no such information during the press release. In the response sent by the governor’s office to the inspectors’ question, it was stated that a situation or intelligence assessment regarding the safety of the ambassador’s life was not brought to light during the meeting. provincial security and public safety coordination meeting and provincial public security meeting.

Photo: Felat Bozarslan/DW

Police: “Members of the terrorist organization prevented the first intervention against Elçi”

The report also included information and documents sent by the Diyarbakır Police Department to the Investigation Committee regarding the incident. In the letter sent by the police, it was stated that two members of the PKK, who had shot two policemen, had entered the street where Elçi was, shooting randomly and aimlessly. Police pointed out that, at the same time, heavy fire was opened on police teams and civilians with long-barreled weapons from the streets behind the four-legged minaret and where the trench was dug. The police report said an attempt was made to approach Tahir Elçi, who was lying on the ground for first aid after the incident, and the following statements were included:

“However, he could not go to him because the members of the terrorist organization gave an armed response and were exposed to attacks. As the intense attacks by the members of the terrorist organization continued, the ‘ambulance could not enter the street, and it was not possible to go to the person lying on the ground and the other citizens.

“No security flaws”

In the evaluation part of the inspector’s report, it is stated that 10 teams have been deployed in the area where Tahir Elçi made a press release and that adequate security measures have been taken. In the report, it was stated that it had been concluded that there was no digital security weakness for a declaration of 20 to 30 people. In the report, which drew attention to the fact that the police had used weapons in accordance with the provisions of the laws and regulations in the street, it was concluded that “in this incident, which resulted in the death of Tahir Elçi and injury to a police officer, the inability of the police to catch or neutralize fleeing terrorists was due to a lack of training rather than a weakness in security.”

“The shooting of Elçi was not a premeditated act”

Assessments regarding the murder of Tahir Elçi were also made in the report. In the report, which drew attention to the fact that the video recording showing the event was not accessible and that no one had seen this moment, it was stated that Tahir Elçi’s shooting was not a premeditated action while the location and course of the incident have been assessed. In the report, which states that two PKK members fled to the street where a statement to the press was made by chance, the report states: “It was concluded that during the armed conflict between the police and the terrorists, he lost his life from a bullet, the origin of which could not be determined at this stage.” The search for evidence was blocked 3 times by terrorist groups in the region. It will be possible to determine who Elçi was killed by a bullet, according to the evidence that will be obtained following the judicial investigation,” he said.

turkish |  Gedenken an Tahir Elci in Diyarbakir
Photo: Felat Bozarslan/DW

Why did the intelligence agents follow?

The fact that two PKK members were followed by intelligence agents at the scene on the day of Tahir Elçi’s murder has also been debated. The inspector’s report also contained detailed information on this subject. Investigators said Mahsum Gürkan, a member of the PKK, had technically been followed by a court order on the grounds that he may have been the perpetrator of an armed attack on a police vehicle. In the report, which stated that the taxi had stopped and that two members of the PKK had fired on the police in a very short time, it was pointed out that the lack of immediate or delayed intervention by the intelligence services resulted from the sudden development of events and inexperience rather than intention or negligence. According to the report, it took a total of 20 minutes for intelligence teams to detect, track and take action to apprehend the attackers.

“No need for disciplinary proceedings”

The report also assessed the behavior of the police at the scene, the intelligence agents who followed the vehicle in which the PKK members were, the radio center, the agents who followed the security cameras and the counter-terrorism team. who was involved in the incident. Investigators said that according to the information and documents available, it was concluded that there was no need for a preliminary examination and disciplinary investigation regarding the functions of the Diyarbakır Police Department.

What happened?

Diyarbakir Bar Association President Tahir Elçi lost his life in the clash that erupted on November 28, 2015 as he gave a statement to the press in front of the four-legged minaret, damaged in the clashes in the district of Sur. The investigation file, which had dragged on for a long time, was reopened with the report prepared by the Diyarbakır Bar Association at the University of London’s Department of Forensic Architecture. A lawsuit has been filed against the three policemen, presented as the usual suspects in the report, and PKK member Uğur Yakisir, who entered the street shooting. In the indictment, it was impossible to determine which of the defendants was responsible for Elçi’s death, but it was stated that the three police officers were strongly suspected of the crime. Accepting the indictment, the 10th High Criminal Court requested that the case be transferred to another. However, the Department of Justice denied this request. In the trial, tense from the day it began, lawyers have frequently demanded that this inspector’s report be placed on file.

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