Court rejects controversial police officer’s removal over negligence in Dink's murder
Fevzi KIZILKOYUN ANKARA – Hürriyet
Ramazan Akyürek was removed from his position right after the Dec. 17 corruption and graft operation, along with hundreds of other senior police officers.An Ankara court rejected the dismissal of Ramazan Akyürek, the head of Inspection Board in the Police Department.
The Interior Ministry defended its decision on the basis that the police officer in question tarnished the image and credibility of the police department over his negligence on Hrant Dink’s murder.
Akyürek was removed from his position right after the Dec. 17 corruption and graft operation, along with hundreds of other senior police officers.
The Ankara 16th Administrative Court suspended the execution upon Akyürek’s appeal. The Interior Ministry defended its decision in a statement to the court that, “allegations about him detracted the police department’s credibility and image.” The ministry also said, “The appointment of such a controversial police officer to the head of Inspection Board was hurting public conscious.”
But the court challenged the ministry’s defense and recalled that Akyürek received two promotions in the aftermath of Dink’s murder and said, “As such allegations were not seen as obstacle before giving a promotion to him, they cannot be shown as a reason for his dismissal either.”
In its reasoning, the court recalled that Akyürek was first appointed as the head of the Department of Strategy Development and then as the head of the Inspection Board in the Police Department Headquarters, emphasizing allegations about him have never been proven.
Ramazan Akyürek served as the head of the police in the Black Sea province of Trabzon between Dec. 2003 and May 2006, whereas Father Andrea Santoro was murdered on Feb. 2006. Officer Akyürek then served as the head of Police Intelligence between May 2006 and Oct. 2009, during which time Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was also murdered in Jan. 2007.
Erhan Tuncel, a former police informant in Trabzon, said he had warned the local police about Dink’s murder in 2007. It subsequently came to light, however, that Ramazan Akyürek, the chief of the Trabzon police at the time, had conveyed only one out of 11 notices to the Istanbul Police Department.
The Interior Ministry discharged Akyürek from his post in relation to those accusations in October and appointed him as an expert to the Department of Strategy Development. Hrant Dink, the former chief editor of the weekly Agos, a paper published in both Armenian and Turkish, was shot to death in front of his office on Jan. 19, 2007.