Developments in Dink murder case 10 years after tragic event – Turkish columnist

13:06 • 10.01.17



Ten years after the assassination of Hrant Dink, the founder and former editor-in-chief of the Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos, the journalist’s family, friends and the Turkish-Armenian community continue their campaign towards justice.


After the failed July 15 coup attempt, the criminal proceeding was marked by turning points, with the authorities accusing supporters of Fetullah Gulen of masterminding the plot.


Ahead of the 10th anniversary of Dink’s murder, Turkish columnist Umit Kivanc has addressed the developments in the prosecution over the past decade.


Below is his column.


“The first obstacle is the atmosphere in the country, with no law and justice prevailing.


“The second obstacle is the authorities’ efforts towards laying the entire blame of Dink’s murder on Gulenists.


“We have been insisting for so many years that it is a murder plotted and committed by a whole group, and that the government officials attempting to cover it up must be held accountable along with the perpetrators of the crime.


“After that happened at last, the very first trial revealed a vast variety of disgraceful moments.


“It was confirmed that a range of government bodies had for almost a year been aware of the assassination being plotted.


“Security and intelligence officials started shifting the blame on one another, with nobody’s [fault] being eventually established.


“But one thing was evidently clear: none of them had done anything at all to avert the murder.


“Also, other disgraceful moments came to light.


“Upon learning of the murder plot against Dink - who lived under permanent threat - the Istanbul security [authorities] didn’t feel the necessity to protect Hrant.


“When [probing into] intelligence documents on the murder [plot], the Istanbul security chief said to another official, ‘If I do not destroy them, we all will get burned.’


“The developments were interesting also outside of the prosecution. Gendarmerie intelligence officials turned out to have offered their backing to the assassin.


“If the case instituted in connection with the gendarmerie merge with the murder case, our demand, voiced for 10 years, will come true.


“But the atmosphere in the country does not kind of inspire hope for an objective justice.


“Yet, the government officials backing those who had committed the murder were eventually brought to court along with the latter.  It is notable that the current state of affairs in which the prosecution culminated was foreseeable from the outset.


“Against the backdrop of the effort towards ‘blaming the case on the Gulenists’, the authorities seem to have closed the avenue towards throwing light upon the matter. All are jointly engaged in covering up the crime.”


Hrant Dink was gunned down on January 19, 2007 outside his office in Istanbul’s Shishli district by ultranationalist Ogun Samast. The prosecution which has been dragging on for almost a decade has not yet reached a final outcome.  



 





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