Officer promoted despite claims in Dink murder

Officer promoted despite claims in Dink murder

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Officer promoted despite claims in Dink murder

Friends and family of Hrant Dink claim that Ramazan Akyürek (R) was one of the responsible parties in t Hrant Dink’s murder for conveying only one notice out of 11 to the Istanbul Police Department. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

Interior Minister İdris Naim Şahin has made a number of appointments in the Police Department whereby Ramazan Akyürek, a top officer accused of alleged negligence in the murders of both Hrant Dink and Friar Santoro, received a promotion.

“Ramazan Akyürek, who served in the highest rank in terms of [access to] intelligence during both murders, has not been discharged from his post by the government, but rather taken under its protection, despite his liability in the first degree,” deputy Atilla Kart of the main opposition People’s Republican Party (CHP) said in a written statement yesterday.

Officer Akyürek was promoted from the head of the Department of Strategy Development to the head of the Inspection Board in the Police Department Headquarters in Ankara.

“Ramazan Akyürek was ostensibly removed from his post in response to public pressure and outcry two years and nine months after Hrant Dink’s murder. When he filed a lawsuit at the Ankara 14th Administrative Court to be reinstated back to his post, the Interior Ministry paved the way for Akyürek to win the case by concealing the truth and issuing a formal plea,” CHP deputy Kart said.

Ramazan Akyürek served as the head of the police in the Black Sea province of Trabzon between Dec. 2003 and May 2006, whereas Friar Santoro was murdered on Feb. 2006, Kart said. 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, Kart added.

 “And thus, all the obstacles that lie before the likes of Ramazan Akyürek have been jointly cleared up,” he said.

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. Hitman Ogün Samast was later sentenced to more than 20 years in prison, while instigator Yasin Hayal received an aggravated life imprisonment sentence.

The court released Erhan Tuncel, however, although the chief justice and the prosecutor as well as leading government figures have expressed reservations about that controversial verdict.

Friar Andrea Santoro of the Catholic Church of Santa Maria in Trabzon was also shot to death by a teenager who was sentenced to life imprisonment, although his sentence was later commuted to 20 years in prison in view of the fact that he was a minor.

trial, crime,