Murder case of Kurdish intellectual expires after 30 years

Murder case of Kurdish intellectual expires after 30 years
Update: 22 September 2022 01:46
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The court decided the case to be subject to statute of limitations, one day after the 30th anniversary of the murder of popular Kurdish writer Musa Anter

The court case over the murder of prominent Kurdish journalist and writer Musa Anter was statute barred on Wednesday, after 30 years and one day the popular intellectual was killed, leaving one of the darkest political crimes to be forgotten in Turkey’s recent history.

Anter, also known as Ape Musa (Uncle Musa in Kurdish) was assassinated in Turkey’s southeastern city of Diyarbakir on 20 September 1992 by a shady group of people belonging to Turkish counter terrorism organizations. 

After the hearing, police prevented the intervening lawyers from making a statement, who had earlier requested the trial to resume despite the 30 year time limit.

"Clearly this decision was made in advance. Nothing we said was taken into account by the court," said Oya Aydin, one of the intervening lawyers. 

Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) also defied the decision. 

“Of course, dropping the case this way will not prevent the struggle for truth and justice. The struggle for truth will prevail and the search for justice will grow. The gangs and their official collaborators will have to face sonsequences,” HDP’s Co-chair Muthat Sancar said.

in 2004, a PKK militant-turned-informant Abdulkadir Aygan said that Anter was killed by a military counter terrorist team that he was also part of. Later a ministerial report confirmed this allegation. 

In 2009, prosecutors launched an inquiry into Hamit Yildirim as the hitman, as well as Mahmut Yildirim, a contract killer widely known by his code name “Green” who was never found. 

In 2012, Hamit Yildirim was arrested as the prime suspect, but released after completing five years in prison.

Anter's family in 2000 complained the lack of progress in the case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) which sentenced Turkey to pay compensation for the lack of adequate investigation into the murder.