New police chiefs assigned to 61 provinces in Turkey
ANKARANew police chiefs have been assigned to 61 provinces across Turkey including İzmir, Adana and Konya, according to a decree published on Oct. 26 in the Official Gazette. The major reshuffle comes as part of sweeping state of emergency decrees just over three months after the failed July 15 military coup attempt.
Some 24 chiefs were transferred from one province to another in the decree, while 37 were newly appointed. Meanwhile, the police chiefs of 34 provinces have been summoned to the police headquarters in Ankara.
Servet Yılmaz and Adem Çakıcı, who were the police chiefs in the provinces of Kahramanmaraş and Rize, respectively, have been named deputies to the head of the Turkish National Police Force.
While the new appointments to the provincial head positions throughout Turkey were largely carried out through officers stationed in Istanbul, a number of notable names on the list drew attention.
One of those names is Turkish National Police Intelligence Department head Engin Dinç, known for his alleged links to the 2007 murder of the Armenian-origin journalist Hrant Dink.
Engin Dinç and former police chiefs Reşat Altay and Ahmet İlhan Güler were accused of “helping commit deliberate murder” on Oct. 26, 2015 in an indictment presented to the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Dinç and Güler were the intelligence unit heads of the police departments in Trabzon and Istanbul, respectively, at the time of Dink’s murder, while Altay was head of the Trabzon police department.
Hakan Bakırcıoğlu, the Dink family attorney, has alleged that Dinç knew about an assassination plot targeting Dink from Feb. 15, 2006, but he failed to notify the Trabzon Governor’s Office, the Trabzon Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, or the National Intelligence Organization (MİT).
According to the current reshuffle, Dinç will serve as police chief of the Anatolian province of Eskişehir.
His position as head of the National Police Intelligence Department will be filled by Diyarbakır Provincial Police Department Deputy Head Akın Karatay.
Meanwhile, former Ankara Police Department Deputy Chief Ahmet Hakan Arıkan, who offered to step down after the deadly Feb. 17 bombing in Ankara, has been appointed as the new head of the Trabzon Police Department.