Turkey: Protests as govt. suspected in shootout death of human rights lawyer

Turkey: Protests as govt. suspected in shootout death of human rights lawyer
(Image: AFP, Ilyas Akengin via Yahoo!)

[Ed. – Emblematic of the bad and worsening trend observed from the Erdogan regime.]

A leading Kurdish lawyer and rights activist was killed in a shootout in Turkey’s troubled southeast on Saturday, fuelling accusations that the state was behind his murder and sparking protests in several cities.

Tahir Elci, head of the bar association in Diyarbakir — the biggest city in the mainly Kurdish southeast — and a campaigner for Kurdish rights, was shot in the head while he and other activists were giving a press statement calling for an end to violence.

The attack took place near an ancient mosque in the city’s Sur district, witnesses told AFP, with the police immediately returning fire.

The incident sparked instant protests in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and Diyarbakir. Police fired tear gas and water cannons at an irate crowd in central Istanbul who shouted “You can’t kill us all”, and “The state has to give an account.”

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