Senior police and gendarmerie officials from Istanbul and the
northeastern city of Trabzon blamed each other for the failure to take
the necessary measures to prevent Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant
Dink’s murder when they were questioned at the end of last month by the
parliamentary subcommittee for human rights as part of its probe into
the Dink murder.
The editor of the newspaper Agos, Dink was
gunned down outside his newspaper’s office in Istanbul on 19 January
2007, some time after the Trabzon police learned of a plot to kill him.
“We reiterate our call for all those investigating the role of
the security forces in connection with the Dink murder to make every
effort to establish who was responsible for what,” Reporters Without
Borders said. “To this end, we think it is important that the police
officers implicated should be tried at the same time as Dink’s alleged
When the parliamentary subcommittee questioned
Trabzon intelligence department chief Engin Dinç on 28 February, he
reportedly identified Erhan Tuncel, who is charged with being one of
the masterminds of Dink’s murder, as a police informer. Dinç said he
only spoke with Tuncel once to ask him to convince Yasin Hayal, another
of the Dink trial defendants, not to kill Dink.
Ahmet Ilhan Güler, the head of the Istanbul police intelligence
department, of failing to react after the Trabzon police issued an
alert about a murder plot. The accusation had already been made to the
subcommittee by former Trabzon police chief Ramazan Akyürek, now head
of police intelligence in Ankara.
During his appearance before
the subcommittee, Akyürek said he alerted the police in 81 cities of
“possible attacks against minorities,” adding that “it was not
necessary to identify Hrant Dink by name.” Akyürek directly accused
Istanbul police chief Celalettin Cerrah of failing to react to his
alert. According to Agos, the subcommittee has decide to question
Cerrah again, this time in Ankara.
The Dink family and its
lawyers are calling for all the Trabzon and Istanbul police officers
involved in the case to be charged and tried in Istanbul.