Suspect in Dink murder case says wants to become confessor in Gülen case

Suspect in Dink murder case says wants to become confessor in Gülen case

Suspect in Dink murder case says wants to become confessor in Gülen case A suspect in the case into the killing of prominent Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink has said he wants to become a confessor in a case into the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization/Parallel State Structure (FETÖ/PDY), widely believed to have masterminded the July 15, 2016, failed coup attempt. 

Former police intelligence branch chief in the Black Sea province of Trabzon, Faruk Sarı, said he wanted to benefit from effective remorse law in the investigation carried out by Trabzon Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office. 

Sarı’s testimony in the FETÖ case was taken in Trabzon after he was detained on Dec. 20, 2016, and was later sent to the Istanbul 14th Heavy Penal Court for the Dink murder case, before being read in the hearing on April 10. 

A total of 35 suspects, of whom two are under arrest, are being tried in the murder case. 

“I’m not a member of FETÖ/PDY. However, I will tell everything I know about the group and the relations they formed with me. I want to benefit from effective remorse law within this framework,” Sarı said in his testimony.

“Our friendship with İrfan Akkaya, who was my desk mate in the academy, developed in 2007 after I was assigned to Trabzon. I met a teacher named Ömer after he invited me to his house in 2007. Ömer started praising the Gülen movement and its activities abroad. We parted after one or two hours. Then I started investigating this movement. When I saw the government supported them, I thought that it wouldn’t cause me any problems. I cut all ties with the group after Akkaya left in 2012,” he said. 

Saying that 60 percent of the police intelligence branch chiefs during that period were Gülenists, Sarı said the movement was active on all levels of the state. 

“After Dink was murdered, which happened when I was the head of the police intelligence branch, pressure was put on me and because of that pressure I contacted the Gülen movement with the friendship connection of Akkaya. I started attending their talks in 2007. Due to the circumstances of that period, I had to remain close to the Gülen movement. Now I regret it,” he said. 

Dink was shot dead at the age of 52 in broad daylight outside the offices of the Turkish-Armenian weekly newspaper Agos, which he founded, in central Istanbul on Jan. 19, 2007.

Ogün Samast, then a 17-year-old jobless high-school dropout, confessed to the murder and was sentenced to almost 23 years in jail in 2011.

But the case grew into a wider scandal after it emerged that the security forces had been aware of a plot to kill Dink but failed to act.

The hearing of the case is scheduled to continue on April 12.