Who killed Dink according to DDK? The deep state, or...
One of the most interesting aspects of the State Supervisory Council (DDK) report on the murder of Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink was that it entered the ongoing public debate on the feature of the incident.
There are two main views in the media and public opinion about the Dink murder. One of them is based on the opinion that the murder could just well be an isolated incident carried out by a group of fanatical nationalist youth on their own. In sentencing Yasin Hayal last month, an Istanbul court’s verdict statement that there was no presence of an organization found in the murder strengthens this opinion. However, this verdict of the 14th Specially Authorized Court drew reaction from a significant segment of the public.
The second opinion is based on the acceptance that the murder was an operation directly organized by the “deep state.” There are many opinion leaders who attribute absolute precision to this thesis. Government spokespeople, on the other hand, say it was them who were targeted in this murder.
This debate emerges in the DDK report.
‘Clumsiness in this murder’
At the end of the “conclusion,” the part of the report which was publicized, DDK head Cemal Boyalı and the other four members of the board said they found it necessary to “express some points on the nature and manner of the incident.”
The DDK said, after this entry, that “at a first glance, it can be concluded that the incident is an act as defined at the trial court,” referring to the first opinion and the verdict of the Istanbul court announced Jan. 17.
There are three factors supporting this view, according to the DDK: The first of these is the “long time slot that passed between the moment the first intelligence was received and the time the murder was committed.” It is true that the date was Feb. 17, 2006, when Trabzon police informed Istanbul and Ankara that a murder targeting Dink was being planned. The gendarmerie intelligence learned about the preparation in July 2006. The murder was committed much later on Jan. 19, 2007.
The second factor is that “the perpetrators were demonstrating clumsy behavior during the time leading to the murder.” When court documents are reviewed, it can be seen that Yasin Hayal did not hide it from his circle of friends in Pelitli in Trabzon that he was making preparations to kill Hrant Dink.
In the third factor, the DDK points out the difficulties the perpetrators went through while obtaining the weapon.
This is not cited openly but all of this emphasizes the sense that “this is an amateur job.”
Turkey’s plentiful experience
Let’s move onto the second thesis. After the DDK conveys the first opinion, right after that it says “However...” and turns the spotlight on the other side of the coin; in other words, the thesis arguing that the murder was the product of a structure formed inside the state.
Within this framework, the DDK emphasizes that “Our country’s plentiful [beyond measure] experience in incidents similar to the Hrant Dink murder, as well as both the responsibility in the inability to protect Dink’s right to life and mistakes in practice, wrongdoings and deficiencies” should also be taken into consideration.
The board sheds light on what it means by “plentiful experience” with this listing:
“The Malatya Zirve Publishing House and Priest Santoro murders, the ‘Kafes’ [Cage] Action Plan, Ergenekon, Revolutionary Headquarters, OdaTV, ‘Balyoz’ [Sledgehammer], the Action Plan to Fight Fundamentalism, Şemdinli, the Murder at the Council of State and cases on unresolved murders…”
According to the DDK, it is not only the existence of these cases, but also the “actions attributed to public employees in these cases and, in some cases, the aims, types of actions and methods [used], as well as signs related to the connection of some defendants with the process and actions leading to Hrant Dink’s murder” should be taken into account.
In this context, we may give the example that Ergenekon defendants such as
Veli Küçük and Kemal Kerinçsiz appear in campaigns led against Hrant Dink.
Well, which one is right?
After drawing this framework, the report emphasizes “The murder should be examined by integrating it with the period starting with making Hrant Dink a target by otherizing him and the period he was being threatened.” It goes on: “It is a must that negligence and the other actions of suspected public employees be investigated and [that they be] tried directly or within the context of the main murder case.”
To sum up, the DDK gives the message that “At first sight it looks like an isolated incident but it is also a high probability that it is an illegal structure inside the state. In order to reveal this, the main case and the cases of the faulty public employees should be joined.”
We need to wait for the Dink case to be reopened for the truth to come to light with all its dimensions.
Sedat Ergin is a columnist for daily Hürriyet in which this piece appeared Feb 23. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.