Agos head Koptaş and writer Kıvanç investigated for insulting ‘Turkishness’
ISTANBUL - Radikal
Dink, the renowned chief editor of Agos, was shot in front of his office in Istanbul on Jan. 19, 2007.The editor-in-chief of the Armenian weekly Agos, Robert Koptaş, and writer Ümit Kıvanç are being investigated for allegedly insulting Turkishness during a televised program right after the verdict in the Hrant Dink case on Jan. 17, 2012, daily Radikal reported April 6.
The Istanbul Prosecutor’s Office began the investigation a day after citizen from Antalya identified as Aydın Taşçı filed a complaint claiming that he was bothered by both writers’ opinions, the report said. He was invited to give a testimony in May 2012.
Dink, the renowned chief editor of Agos, was shot in front of his office in Istanbul on Jan. 19, 2007. The triggerman, Ogün Samast, was sentenced to 22 years in prison, but the prosecutors’ inability to bring to the light the other actors behind the murder has caused widespread anger. On Jan. 17, 2012, two days before the fifth commemoration of the murder, the court ruled that it saw no “deep state” role in the plotting of the assassination. The ruling attracted strong reactions, and both writers harshly criticized the verdict on private broadcaster Habertürk.
Following a long period of gathering evidence, prosecutors summoned both Koptaş and Kıvanç to testify last week. Sources at the office told Radikal that the investigation was in the phase of collecting evidence and that it could be dropped after testimony from both of the accused. However, because of a new law, prosecutors are now forced to ask permission from the Justice Ministry before launching any investigation into any case that falls under the purview of Article 301, which encompasses the crime of insulting “Turkishness,” Radikal said. The Justice Ministry has said there has not been any application to obtain permission in the case of Koptaş and Kıvanç.
‘Obviously an Armenian’
Taşçı referred in his complaint to Koptaş as “obviously an Armenian,” Radikal reported. “I wanted to notify that as a Turkish citizen, I do not accept them saying that the Turkish state is a murderer, that it continues its murders, as well as the objectionable words they have used about the judicial process,” Taşçı wrote.
Koptaş and Kıvanç’s lawyer said the complaint should not have been taken into consideration. “The responsibility of public servants in the murder of Hrant Dink was determined in a decision by the European Court of Human Rights. Even the prosecutors [of the Dink case] said the investigation had not been effective enough. This was the opinions expressed by Koptaş and Kıvanç.”