Prominent journalist İpekçi commemorated
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Friends and family members of Abdi Pekçi gathered at his grave in Istanbul’s Zincirlikuyu cemetery to pay tribute to the late journalist, who was killed in 1979.A prominent Turkish journalist murdered in the days that led to the 1980 military coup was commemorated in Istanbul yesterday on the 33rd anniversary of his assassination.
Friends and family members of Abdi Pekçi, who was the Editor-in-Chief of daily Milliyet when he was killed, gathered at his grave in Istanbul’s Zincirlikuyu cemetery to pay tribute to the late journalist.
İpekçi was murdered in his car on his way home in the city’s Maçka neighborhood in 1979. His assassin, Mehmet Ali Ağca, a member of Turkish ultra-nationalist group the Grey Wolves, also shot Pope John Paul II in 1981.
Although Ağca told the court that he only shot his gun five or six times in his testimony, police officers found nine bullets at the scene of İpekçi’s murder, providing distinct evidence that a second person was involved. Another Grey Wolves member, Oral Çelik, was found guilty of organizing the crime, but he fled to Europe and only returned to Turkey in 1996. He was, however, released by the court due to a lack of evidence.
Ağca was sentenced to life imprisonment in Italy for his attempt on the Pope, but was pardoned in June 2000 at John Paul’s request. He was subsequently arrested in Turkey, convicted for the murder of İpekçi, avoiding arrest and for two armed robberies. He was released in 2010 after 10 years in prison for the crimes.