Lawyers: Evidence not gathered, police investigation into Elci’s death futile

According to the Ozgur Dusunce daily, Progressive Lawyers Association (CHD) President Huseyin Bicen stated: “It is not possible to gather evidence during a curfew in the middle of Diyarbakır. This is entirely a political preference. The examination of a crime scene is supposed to be done the day of the incident. After this point, it [an investigation] would only be for show. They have no intention of gathering evidence. There is a stain on this case. For nine days, evidence has not been collected. Instead they are trying to create evidence. What they are doing is not gathering evidence; they are fabricating it.”

The area where Elci was killed has been under a curfew for the fourth consecutive day on Sunday, where clashes continue between the police and Patriotic Revolutionist Youth Movement (YDG-H) militants.

“There is no progress. They are trying to cover it up. They received instructions, the criminals are ready. At every incident they are ready to blame someone. In this incident, the police are also suspects. For the police to conduct the investigation is nonsensical,” Bicen also noted.

Similarly, the vice president of the Diyarbakır Bar Association, attorney Ahmet Ozmen, delivered a statement in front of the Diyarbakır Courthouse on Friday, stating: “We believe the primary suspect in the murder of our bar [association] president is the police [department] due to video footage that has been revealed to the public and the way that the events took place. This casts a shadow on their ability to carry out the investigation objectively and impartially. This is why we demand that a team from outside of the police force carry out the investigation.”

Diyarbakır Bar Association Secretary-General Abdullah Cager vowed to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) if the case is not properly tried domestically.

Rakel Dink stands with widowed Turkan Elci

Rakel Dink, the widow of slain Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, stood with Elci’s widow, Turkan Elci, during a visit to Elci’s grave on Saturday morning in Diyarbakır. Many have drawn similarities between Dink and Elci, as the two men are remembered for voicing what they believed in despite societal and political pressures.

Rakel Dink, Turkan Elci, Elci’s daughter Nazenin Elci and lawyers from the Diyarbakır Bar Association left red carnations on his grave during their visit.

The Saturday Mothers also paid their respects to Elci during a memorial ceremony held on Saturday during their weekly demonstration in İstanbul. The Saturday Mothers are a group of mothers of people who disappeared or died while in state custody in Turkey during the 1990s. Elci was a lawyer who followed many of these cases closely.