Suspects in Hrant Dink Murder Case Released Two Days after Arrest

A poster bearing a picture of Hrant Dink is pictured in front of an Istanbul counrthouse. Dec. 3, 2013. (Photo: AFP)

TRABZON, Turkey—Two suspects in the murder case of renowned Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, who were arrested in Trabzon on Tuesday, were released on Thursday, Jan. 9, after interrogation.

Zeynel Abidin Yavuz and Osman Hayal were considered key suspects, and arrest orders for them were issued after they failed to attend an initial hearing.

Yavuz is suspected of having been the first triggerman chosen to murder Dink while Hayal’s brother, Yasin Hayal, has been charged with being the instigator of the assassination.

The Supreme Court of Appeals had overturned the acquittals of top suspects, including Yasin Hayal. Hayal and other 18 suspects, including Erhan Tuncel and Ersin Yolcu, are set to stand again in the retrial, which resumed on Sept. 17, 2013.

The sudden release of the suspects shortly after their arrest comes 10 days ahead of the 7th anniversary of Dink’s murder.

The renowned editor-in-chief of Agos, which has been the voice of the small Armenian community in Istanbul for several decades, was shot dead by Ogün Samast in front of his office in Istanbul on Jan. 19, 2007. Samast was sentenced to over 22 years in jail for the murder.

Lawyers representing the Dink family have repeatedly expressed their dismay over the way the investigations and the trial were conducted.

One of the lawyers, Fethiye Çetin, said last September that the current stage was “far behind the starting point,” as the indictment of the retrial will review whether a “terrorist organization” plotted the murder, a point that was simply assumed in the first trial.

Çetin argued in a recently published book that the order to kill was given by the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MİT) via an encrypted message.

The self-named group “Friends of Dink,” which is made up of journalists, relatives, friends and activists, also accuse the state of being responsible for the murder.


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  1. Haygazian Nevart said:

    The criminals in this case are well protected by very high sphere there is no doubt the high sphere were behind the curtains of his horrible crime that made of Hrant Dink the one new other victim of the one million and a half of the Genocide. This assassination is part of the Genocide, that is continuying up to our days. Naif is whoever think the Genocide is over was is deialif not th readiness to repet the same action?… what does it means othrwise killing any voice of the Armenian race in Turkey even today.

  2. boghos jermag said:

    Will Policy Forum Armenia and Ara Manoogian please provide a white paper report on Turkish corruption?

    • Sarkis said:

      Very good job Boghos Jermag on continuing to bring to people’s attention the anti-Armenian actions of Policy Forum Armenia. Of course your question is rhetorical, pfa and turkey are united in their goal of painting the Republic of Armenia as an evil, degenerate entity not worthy of a continued existence.

      William Bairamian, I believe he is connected with the ANCA but I’m not entirely sure, has an excellent expository article on the western-funded Armenophobic association known as pfa:

      I left some comments there you may find interesting as well.