Felat Bozarslan - Ahmet Ün / Diyarbakır () - Diyarbakır Association head Tahir Elçi was detained in the southeastern province late on Oct. 19 for his recent remarks that “the PKK is not a terror organization” and taken to Istanbul.
Elçi, who is accused of “terrorism propaganda” was detained around 2 a.m. at the bar association building, where he was waiting to be detained by the police following a detention order issued by a court in Istanbul’s Bakırköy district earlier on Oct. 19.
During his wait, Elçi was accompanied by representatives of civil organizations, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers, Diyarbakır co-mayor Gültan Kışanak and a group of lawyers.
The detention warrant for Elçi said the bar association head was “hiding inside the country to lead to the failure of an investigation against him on charges of terror propaganda.”
“For a remark, for a word, a bar association head is being detained” Elçi said while being taken into custody. “We witness a remarkable practice regarding the situation of freedom of expression and democracy in Turkey. A bar association head is behind detained at a bar association building for his remarks at the moment.”
Elçi will appear before court on Oct. 20 in Istanbul, which will rule on his possible arrest.
Diyarbakır Bar Association’s former head Mehmet Emin Aktar argued that the detention ruling was made “upon orders.”
“For the first time, a bar association head has been detained for expressing his views,” Aktar said. “This is against the law, double standards, and aims to silence us all. We will not be silenced.”