Politicians call for patience in Dink case
President Abdullah Gül calls to wait for the completion of the judicial process. Photo by Selahattin SönmezTurkey’s president and government officials sought to appease uproar over the verdict in the case into Hrant Dink’s murder, calling for patience until the judicial process was completed.
“I see the public’s indignation. We have to wait for the completion of the judicial process. The ruling will be appealed,” President Abdullah Gül said. He added that the State Inspection Board, which he had tasked with looking into the Dink probe, would soon complete its report.
Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin also urged patience, while Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç rejected criticism of the government, even though he acknowledged the ruling had failed to satisfy public opinion.
“The government’s only task was to find the perpetrators. We handed them over to justice within 30 hours. We did our part,” Arınç said on the private TV8 channel, referring to the prompt capture of self-confessed gunman Ogün Samast and his alleged accomplices.
In contrast to his colleagues, Culture Minister Ertuğrul Günay slammed the judges who concluded Dink’s murder was an individual act rather than the deed of an organized group that received protection from state officials.
“If this is not an organized crime, then what other incident is organized?” Günay said in Antalya. The ruling had showed “how efficient and resistant are the mechanisms that want to cover up this murder,” he added. He voiced hope that the Supreme Court of Appeals would rectify the case because the current verdict “is impossible to accept and understand.”
Opposition parties also lashed out at the ruling. Emine Ülker Tarhan of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) maintained the “deep state” was behind Dink’s murder and the judiciary “kept mum over all that has happened and now even approved it.”
European Commission responsible for enlargement, Stefan Füle’s spokesman Peter Stano issued a statement yesterday saying the authorities had failed to protect Dink even though they knew ultranationalists were plotting to kill him.
Ria Oomen-Ruijten, European Parliament member and Turkey rapporteur, said, “The verdict is disappointing. The Hrant Dink case could have been an example of how properly functioning judicial institutions deal with disruptive forces in society. This verdict makes clear the need for further judicial reform in Turkey.”