Turkish police have attacked protesters in Istanbul who were furious at the killing of prominent Kurdish lawyer and rights activist Tahir Elci.
According to Press TV, security forces fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse hundreds of people demonstrating in the city on Saturday, chanting “Shoulder to shoulder against fascism,” and, “Tahir Elci is immortal.”
Similar protests were reported in other cities across the country, including in the city of Diyarbakir.
The lawyer was shot dead by gunmen earlier in the day in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish Province of Diyarbakir, where he was giving a press statement.
According to witnesses, Elci was killed by a single bullet while a policeman was also killed in an exchange of fire that followed.
Omer Tastan, a local official from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party, also known as the HDP said “The moment the statement ended, the crowd was sprayed with bullets,” adding “A single bullet struck Elci in the head.”
Dogan News Agency reported that two police officers sustained injuries when an investigative team went to visit the site of the attack and came under fire.
The HDP denounced Elci’s murder as a “planned assassination” and called for a protest move. However, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said it is still unclear whether the lawyer was caught in crossfire or assassinated.