Right to Speak: The real issue is the lack of prosecution, says Diyarbakır Bar President on Tahir Elçi case

Diyarbakır Bar Association President Nahit Eren discussed the acquittal verdicts in the Tahir Elçi case on MLSA TV. Speaking live with Yıldız Tar on the program "Söz Hakkı," Eren stated, “The Tahir Elçi assassination cannot be confined to what happened at the Four-Legged Minaret. We cannot separate his targeting before his murder and the events in Sur after his death from the curfews. This case could have shed light on a dark period.”

Eren remarked, “We were not surprised by the decision. We knew the case would conclude this way due to the prosecutor's inaction during the investigation and the court's rejection of all our requests.” He emphasized that their legal struggle would continue and they would take the case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), pointing out flaws in the investigation:

“There was a private camera in the street where Tahir Elçi was shot. However, a report claims the camera did not record the moment we believe it clearly saw. Security always records press statements, yet there is a 12-second gap during Elçi's shooting. The PTT camera was also found to be faulty. We have repeatedly voiced our suspicions about tampered recordings and couldn't even access the original police footage.”

Eren criticized Justice Minister Yılmaz Tunç's comment, “This is the decision of the first instance. There are appeal processes,” arguing:

“The Tahir Elçi case reflects the widespread impunity for severe human rights violations committed by public officials, which has become state policy. The assassination is not just an event at the Four-Legged Minaret. Elçi faced a smear campaign for his TV statements, involving the judiciary, leading to immediate detention and a rushed indictment paving the way for his assassination. Considering the events in Sur post-assassination and the long-lasting curfews, we cannot view the case in isolation. It is crucial for uncovering a dark period.”

“Political power and the entire judicial bureaucracy showed no will to uncover this murder,” Eren added, recalling that former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu also labeled the assassination a “political murder” and that his testimony was later dismissed:

“We can't separate the assassination from the events of that time, nor can we ignore that identifying the perpetrators fully could disturb some people. The acquittal decision indicates a lack of political will to confront the dark past. While we acknowledge the appeals process, the main issue is the judiciary's failure to properly investigate and prosecute the case. The Justice Minister must first recognize the court’s shortcomings. Complaints against those leading the investigation were dismissed by the Council of Judges and Prosecutors. To us, this shows a lack of intent from the political power and judicial bureaucracy to clarify this murder.”

You can watch the full broadcast on MLSA's X (Twitter) and YouTube accounts.


Medya ve Hukuk Çalışmaları Derneği (MLSA) haber alma hakkı, ifade özgürlüğü ve basın özgürlüğü alanlarında faaliyet yürüten bir sivil toplum kuruluşudur. Derneğimiz başta gazeteciler olmak üzere mesleki faaliyetleri sebebiyle yargılanan kişilere hukuki destek vermektedir.