Turkish Police Officers Implicated in Dink Case Negligence

ISTANBUL (Milliyet)–Inspectors searching for signs of police negligence in the murder of prominent Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink reportedly ignored important statements by Turkey’s former police intelligence chief, the daily Milliyet reported.

According to Wednesday’s edition of the daily Milliyet, former Intelligence Unit Chief Sabri Uzun’s statement implicated several police officers in the mishandling of an intelligence report.

On Oct. 23, 2009, inspectors Mustafa Uckuyu and Mehmet Canoglu asked Uzun through a written statement whether there had been any negligence in an intelligence report about Dink that they had obtained.

The intelligence report, dated Feb. 17, 2006, said “an action that would create repercussions would be taken against Dink.”

On Nov. 4, 2009, Uzun said in a written statement that there had been no negligence in the mentioned report. However, after a short while, Uzun obtained the full version of the mentioned report after realizing that some information had been hidden from him.

Uzun called the inspectors back and said he wanted to provide additional information. In his additional response to inspectors, Uzun said Ali Fuat Yılmazer, a police chief at a lower-ranking intelligence unit, had hid the report from him. The date of Uzun’s additional response was Dec. 4, 2009.

Inspectors did not include Uzun’s additional response in their reports, however. Instead, they wrote Nov. 19 as the date of their inspection report, suggesting that Uzun’s additional response had arrived later.

Dink, a Turkish journalist of Armenian origin, was murdered on Jan. 19, 2007, in front of the building of the multi-lingual weekly Agos in Istanbul’s central Sisli district, while a juvenile murder suspect, Ogun Samast, was detained afterwards.

Samast was from the Black Sea province of Trabzon, in which the murder was alleged to have been organized.

Later, Erhan Tuncel was also detained as a suspected accomplice to the murder – after which it was revealed that he was also a police informant.

Police allegedly neglected to protect Dink despite intelligence reports indicating he was a target.

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