DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) — Thousands of people have gathered for the funeral of Tahir Elçi, a Kurdish lawyer and human rights activist gunned down in Diyarbakır, which has been at the center of months of violence. Funerals were also held for the two policemen killed in the attack on November 28.
The Turkish prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, said on November 29 that the gun found next to Elçi’s body was the same weapon used in the attack on the police officers, as he vowed to catch the killers.
But Selahattin Demirtas, co-chair of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic party (HDP), cast doubt on whether those responsible would be exposed.
“Our skepticism is fair as so many similar sufferings have taken place on our land in this past,” he said at the funeral. “We were never able to say goodbye to them with our minds at ease thinking those responsible will be caught.”
Police surveillance footage released on November 28 showed officers being shot at from inside a cab. Another video shows plainclothes police shooting at two men running in the direction where Elçi was believed to be.
Elçi, who died after speaking to journalists, was facing trial for saying the banned Kurdistan Workers party (PKK) was not a terrorist organization, as the government describes it. He had, however, denounced PKK violence.