Turkish prosecutor requests defendants’ acquittal in Tahir Elçi case

The public prosecutor overseeing the murdered bar head Tahir Elçi’s case has declared it sought the acquittal of the three police officer defendants being charged with “causing death by conscious negligence.” 

Duvar English

The prosecutor’s office of Turkey’s southeastern Diyarbakır province on April 29 requested the acquittal of three police officers charged with murder in the case surrounding bar head Tahir Elçi’s death.

The prosecutor held that the security camera footage that has served as the main evidence that linked the defendants to the case was inconclusive to determine the direction of the bullet that killed Elçi. 

Head of the Diyarbakır Bar Association, Nahit Eren, has condemned the development with a social media post. 

“We shall see brighter days,” he said, adding that Elçi was killed in front of a dozen cameras. 

The Tahir Elçi Human Rights Foundation issued a statement regarding the prosecutor's request, calling it "proof" that the government wished to close the case without any sentences. 

The foundation asked for support in the upcoming 11th hearing of the case, taking place at the Diyarbakır Courthouse on June 12.  


Tahir Elçi, who was then head of the Diyarbakır Bar Association, was killed in broad daylight on Nov. 28, 2015, while speaking to the media to call for an end to the ongoing conflict between Turkish security forces and the PKK.

Elçi’s press conference was interrupted when two alleged members of the PKK ran through the scene, moments after they had shot and killed two police officers nearby.

Police who had been at the press conference opened fire as the pair ran past, and several shots were fired. During the commotion, Elçi was shot from the back of his head and died at the scene.

A frame-by-frame analysis of the moment of the camera footage by the Forensic Architecture research agency found that the three officers were the most likely suspects, ruling out the possibility of alleged PKK members shooting at Elçi. 

The officers were included in the case as defendants after the report and are accused of “causing death by conscious negligence.”  

However, an expert report by the state-run Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) alleged that the security video footage was doctored, demanding its dismissal as evidence.