Dink murder case should be reopened
The State Supervisory Council (DDK) of the Turkish Presidency released the findings of its 649-page report of the murder case of Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink. The DDK has started a separate audit on the case with the directive of President Abdullah Gül upon reactions from the Dink family and general public opinion regarding the fairness of the trial.
The case was closed by the Istanbul 14th Specially Authorized Court last month, Jan. 17, sentencing hit man Ogün Samast and his instigator Yasin Hayal to life imprisonment; Samast’s sentence was reduced to 23 years because of being under 18 years old when he killed Dink in Istanbul on Jan. 19, 2007. The reactions are based on the claims the court – which decided the crime was not committed by an illegal organization – did not properly examine the evidence showing links and causalities between the murderer and some public servants within the police force, gendarmerie and intelligence.
The statements of Judge Rüstem Eryılmaz following the ruling that he did not examine the evidence well despite believing in his heart there might be an organization having links within the state security system caused a probe to be opened against him later on.
The findings of the DDK are not legally binding. But the highly credible institution’s suggestions could be used as a legal ground for both the Supreme Court of Appeals (Yargıtay), where the case is waiting to be approved by the prosecutors to open the case anew.
Metin Feyzioğlu, the chairman of the Ankara Bar, said yesterday on the phone that one of the most important parts of the DDK report was the paragraph underlining the negligence of the court in considering the accusations against the government officers as separate cases; instead they should be considered as a part of the main case, i.e. the murder trial. “The report says that negligence caused lack of investigation to understand whether there is a causality link between the murder and the evidences on the links to public servants,” Feyzioğlu explained. “This could and should be considered as new evidence, and the case has to be opened again.”
It is not possible to read all parts of the report, so we cannot share them with you. But it is clear at least some parts of those censored paragraphs are related to the links in the eastern Black Sea port city of Trabzon where both Samast and Haya and also the released police informant Erhan Tuncel are from.
The importance of the DDK report, thanks to the common sense of Gül, is high. This could be a chance to consider the Dink case once again, which turned into a symbolic case regarding the Christian minorities in Turkey, as well as the human rights situation and the murder cases not properly solved, and even examined by the courts. If the case is going to be opened again, which should be the case, and end up revealing the illegal structures within the state apparatus, it would be considered an important step in improving the level of democracy in Turkey.