Dink Murderer Sentenced to 22 Years [Updated]

Dink murder suspect Ogun Samast

ISTANBUL (Hurriyet Daily News)—The murderer of Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, Ogün Samast was sentenced to over 22 years of jail in Istanbul’s Juvenile Court. Yet, Dink’s friends say that now it is time to punish the real criminals behind the murder.

Ogün Samast, who has been in jail for four and a half years, defended himself by saying that he didn’t know Dink and has been influenced by newspapers and columnists.
A juvenile court in Istanbul handed down a jail term Monday of nearly 23 years to the self-confessed murderer of prominent ethnic Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, who was gunned down in broad daylight in 2007.

The juvenile court initially condemned Ogün Samast to life, but reduced the sentence to 21-and-a-half years on the grounds that he was underage at the time of the murder before giving him an additional 16 months for possession of an unlicensed weapon.

Samast was facing 18 to 24 years in jail on charges of having killed Dink, a Turkish journalist of Armenian origin and the editor-in-chief of weekly Agos, who was murdered in front of his newspaper’s office in Istanbul on Jan. 19, 2007.

During the trial Monday, Samast defended himself by saying he had a poor education and committed the murder under other people’s influences.

“I was influenced by newspapers and some columnists. Otherwise how would I know Hrant Dink, how would I know Agos?” Samast said.

A lawyer for the Dink family noted that Samast is also a suspect in another case on accusations of being a member of a terrorist organization.

“The court’s decision is closer to the upper limit,” Dink family lawyer Fethiye Çetin told the private news channel NTV. “However this is only one part of the case. In today’s trial Samast was convicted of murder, yet he is also being tried for being part of a terror organization.”

Samast is also facing eight to 18 years in jail on the terror-related charges. He is being tried along with Erhan Tuncel and Yasin Hayal, who are also charged with “membership in and directing of a terrorist organization” and “assisting a terrorist organization.” Çetin said they are expecting another 11 years of imprisonment for Samast from that trial.

Under the Turkish Penal Code, Samast will likely not serve the 22 years and 10 months to which he was sentenced. Legal experts said he might be able leave prison after between 10 and 12 years.

“His sentence will be decreased if he shows good behavior in prison,” Ali Ersin Gür, former president of Contemporary Lawyers Association, or ÇHD.

“In that case he will have to stay in jail for three-fourths of the murder sentence, which is about 16.5 years. Considering that he has already been in jail for the past 4.5 years, he might be out of prison by 2023,” Gür told the Hürriyet Daily News over the phone.

Retired prosecutor Mete Göktürk said, however, that Samast’s sentence might be decreased by one third since he was tried in juvenile court.

“He might be pardoned for almost seven years [of the sentence], which would mean a total sentence of 15 years,” Göktürk told Habertürk television. In that case Samast would be out of jail by 2021.

Regardless of how much time he ends up serving, Samast’s sentence will not be enough to please those who believe there are other people behind the murder, according to figures who have been following the trial closely.

“We have been waiting for this decision for 4.5 years, and today it has been finalized. Yet the real criminals haven’t been tried yet,” said Garo Paylan, a member of a group known as Hrant’s Friends.

“There are several state officers behind this murder. We want each of them to be sentenced,” Çetin said.

Among the eight suspects who are being tried on charges of negligence in preventing the Dink’s murder are Trabzon Gendarmerie Commander Col. Ali Öz and Gendarmerie Intelligence Unit Director Cpt. Metin Yıldız.

The next hearing of the case trial will be held Friday. Paylan said now was the time to punish the other people involved.

“Today the court punished the child, yet we are waiting for his big brothers,” he said.


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  1. Anait said:

    but still, he won’t tell who “asked” him to do it….the real criminals are still out…laughing…:(

    • Osik said:

      Dear Anita,

      That is not the question; it’s a fact that one way or another government was involved but my question is what would have been his sentence if Abdullah Gul or Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was the victim? And my answer is assassination on the spot.

      Here in USA being the cradle of democracy we haven’t seen such leniency from courts and if someone of his age commits such violent premeditated crime he/she gets judged as an adult and even gets the capital punishment, this guy even if he stays 21 years in jail (which I doubted); when he walks out he would be a 38 years old experienced assassin; capable of committing the same heinous act at least one more time in his worthless life.

      This is another dark page in Turkish History called “The Killing of the 1,500,001th Armenian in Turkey”.

  2. Stephen T. Dulgarian said:

    I can’t believe it took that long to sentence Hrant Dink’s murderer, but what about all those whom were behind him. I am sure the Turkish Government well knows whom they are and are playing low key as usual.

  3. Stepan said:

    A dark cloud of suspicion hovers over Turkey. A crime of genocide, years of denial and now the controversy
    of Hrant Dink’s murder. How deep are the roots of hatred that committed this horrible act.? Can Turkish society deal with the truth or will the denial mentality pervade their society. As in most assassinations, the ruling powers do not like the theories of conspiracy to be floated or investigated. It’s so much easier to say the crime was committed by only a 17 year old kid alone. Will we ever know the truth? Does Turkey have the courage? This incident reflects the need for healing that Hrant often spoke about… healing within Turkey…. but the Turks must realize that the healing only starts when the truth is visible. Until then i the wound remains infected with myths, distortions and hatred.

  4. arshakadelic said:

    Yes, and we’ve already seen pictures of police officers posing with him in photos, with pride. A testament to how “rough” jail time will be for him. We all know he is hailed a national hero and this sentencing is just another effort to try and convince the international world that turkey is a just and free democr… blah blah blah. so sick of it.

  5. Hrant K. said:

    Question the Mayor of Trebizond, the Chief of police there, the current and ex-Minister of Justice,

    Ergenekon Organization and the current AK party members!!! Not an skapegoat, an ex-minor to close the

    file of Hrant Dink!

    The gates of Hell have been opened for Turkey, and the sacred spirit of Hrant Dink and the 1.5 Million

    Martyrs+300Thousand by the Red Sultan will haunt you forever till Doom’s Day!!! And you won’t see

    Heaven @ all !!! Rot and Burn, that’s what you deserve!!!

  6. Pattricia said:

    OMG, that’s it?! That means, he will leave prison before he is 40!! Which gives him another 40 years to enjoy his life, while he has taken away a beautiful soul, leaving his wife, children, and family to live a life without him.. That’s just so sad.. and very unfair. :( I think they purposely chose a minor to do this dirty job, no no I don’t “think”, I am convinced.

  7. Aram said:

    This is a time to feel sad for Armenians, Turks and the whole world. Too many innocent people have died from Der Zor, Istanbul to Oslo. Could we look for a way(s) to stop all this waste of human life rather than call for rvenge?

  8. Hrant K. said:

    Why don’t the turks set the juvenile criminal free? According to their logic all turks are “innocent”,

    1.5 Million unarmed Martyrs+ 300.000(Red Sultan victims) + Hrant Dink + Sevag are all “criminals”.

    They can only be addressed by “Operation Nemesis” like answers : Starting with the 8

    planners,”suspects” (because turks have always been “Angels”), protected by the turkish

    authorities, who will never ever confess their involvement in the crimes!!! (7)

  9. ArdeVast Atheian said:

    Turkey and its people are to be commended for the way they have responded to and treated the Hrant Dink murder.
    Turkey has adhered to the Western standards in dealing with this kind of a crime. There’s hope for Turkey. It is more than not a compassionate and tolerant nation now.
    There’s still room for improvement but I’d welcome them to the circle of civilized world nations now.

  10. Hrant K. said:

    Erdogan is playing POKER now , he can bluff the azeris, english, spaniards and the whole

    moslem “sunni” communities, but the Israelis, Cypriots, Greeks, Syrians, Assyrians, Syriacs, Iranians,

    Georgians, Russians, Chinese and Armenians are so obviously reading his cards. Let’s see Mr Rejeb

    in action after the top Military Commands’ resignations…! Who is he going to ask for an apology


  11. Sirvart Garabedian said:

    I am absulotly not satisfied that the supposidly juvenile murderer, Ogun Samast is sentenced for 22 years in prison which might be curtailed to lesser years afterwards just to show the world that Turkey is justifying innocent Hrant Dink’s murder, but i can’t wait to see if this murderer who says he didn’t know Hrant Dink or Agos that he was not educated and was influenced by other people, ofcourse we know for sure that he didn’t act alone but if Turkey wants to show clear face to the world as Democratic country, which will never be in our (Armenians’ eyes) if they want to show the world the justice was done, we are not convinced neither the whole world if the whole truth doesn’t come to the surface that high profile officials’ dirty hand yet plays a roll for more crime to Armenians such as worldwilde famous a decent journalist owner & editor Hrant Dink in broad day light. I just want to see that Turkey doesn’t take long to pursue find out the real criminals behind this heinous crime, if Erdogan’s hand not involved then he would order the court sooner the better to bring those criminals behind the scene to be judjed fairly by forcing Ogun Samast by whom he was influenced, sure he was influenced by high profile official a gang which showed in a Turkish Newspaper celebrating and hailed Samast as a hero with Turkish flag risen on Samast’s shoulders in Trapisond. The time will tell if Turkey wants to admit its free democracy though we never ever trust that this will take place in million years then Turkey’s name will more tarnish and we expect that they have more secret plans to murder more Armenians or other Christians as pmg as Armenian Genocide the “G” word forbidden to be mentioned under criminal code 301. I wonder after all this restrictions of no free speech in Turkey how on earth some developed countries pushing hard to enter Turkey in the civilized Christian European Union, shame on these countries who blindly defend very undemocratic Turkey due to teir own interest while in reality Turkey with its 70-80 million will be a burden on EU and with the time passing the EU will be regret their wrongdoing but it’ll be too late!!!!