Tahir Elci: preaching peace, killed by the gun

20 Jul

{t says: “Elci was a critic of both the government and the PKK, and a prominent supporter of a peaceful solution for the conflict between the Kurds and the Turkish state.”

Deciphering Disorder

This article was originally written in Dutch and appeared in the Groene Amsterdammer on 2 December. I’ve translated it into English for publication on my blog. Please scroll down for the Dutch original.

Rarely were someone’s last words so auspicious as those of Kurdish human rights lawyer Tahir Elci. “We don’t want weapons, conflicts and operations around here,” he stated, mere seconds before he lost his life during a clash between unknown assailants and the police in Diyarbakir, Turkey’s largest Kurdish town.

Elci had gathered with a small group of fellow lawyers to draw attention to the destruction of cultural and historical heritage during clashes between the police and local militant youth. Before the press conference had properly come to an end, the sound of gun shots rang through the air. Elci was hit in the head by a single bullet, and died on the spot.

Less than a month…

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