Court Rules Turkey Violated Dink’s Freedom

ANKARA (Hurriyet)—The European Court of Human Rights reportedly ruled the Turkey violated the freedom of expression of Hrant Dink when it charged him for insulting Turkishness and violated the right to life by failing to protect Dink despite death threats. The court also condemned the inefficiency of the legal proceedings that took place after his death, according to the Turkish daily Vatan.

The court reportedly ruled that Turkey violated the freedom of expression by trying Dink for insulting Turkishness

The daily also led Monday with news of the European court’s ruling in favor of Dink and his family, who continued the legal fight after the journalist’s death. The family also filed another complaint saying the Turkish state failed to protect Dink before his death.

The European court did not release a statement Monday and Vatan reported that the court’s verdict would be announced in September. Diplomatic sources, however, said the Turkish Foreign Ministry had been not officially informed of the verdict.

A trial regarding slain journalist Hrant Dink at the European Court of Human Rights is continuing, Turkish Foreign Ministry sources said Monday despite widespread news that the court has already found Turkey guilty.

“The case has not yet been concluded. There is an ongoing trial process,” a diplomatic source told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review.

Representatives of the Justice, Interior and Foreign ministries met Monday to develop a roadmap regarding Turkey’s defense on the murdered journalist. Sources speaking to the Daily News declined to elaborate on the future policy to be followed, saying only that the relevant ministries were working on the issue.

The Dink trial made headlines earlier this month when Turkey cited in its defense the case against a leader of a Nazi organization in Europe as an example supporting its prosecution of Dink.

In previous remarks, Foreign Ministry Ahmet Davutoğlu said he was against the state going head to head with its citizens on freedom of expression at the European court.

While expressing regrets regarding the Turkish state’s referral to the Nazi case at the European court, Davutoğlu said the defense could not be withdrawn but added that the state could settle with the victim’s family.

Dink, a Turkish journalist of Armenian origin and editor of weekly bilingual Agos, was gunned down in January 2007 in front of his newspaper’s office. Before his death, he had filed an appeal with the European court after he was tried for violating Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code, which prohibits “insulting Turkishness.”


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