ISTANBUL (Hurriyet)–The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has sent a request to the Prime Ministry to investigate the National Intelligence Organization, or MIT, to determine whether they neglected to prevent the assassination of journalist Hrant Dink. The request is likely to be denied. Dink, a Turkish journalist of Armenian origin and the former editor-in-chief of weekly Agos, was gunned down in broad daylight on Jan. 19, 2007, in front of the offices of his bilingual publication.
The Prime Ministry sent a request to MİT, which answered: “We do not have data or documents on the Dink murder.” The point that there have been no documents on the murder forwarded to MİT from other security units was deliberately underlined in MIT’s reply, and the ministry was sympathetic to not allowing MİT to be questioned. The ministry’s response is currently on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s desk waiting to be signed before being sent to the prosecution. Any legal investigation of MİT or its employees regarding actions done in the line of duty needs approval from the Prime Ministry.
The Dink murder case has been repeatedly criticized by the family’s defense team over suspicions that the superiors of the triggermen are being protected. Dink’s defense team also argues that MIT, the police and the gendarmerie all knew Dink was going to be assassinated, but took no action. The Investigation Committee of the Prime Ministry has determined that Ramazan Akyurek, former chief of police in Trabzon province, demonstrated negligence in failing to prevent the murder. The evidence of negligence was offered as “not bringing the intelligence reports by Yasin Hayal finding that Hrant Dink was going to be murdered to the provincial security meetings headed by the governor.” Akyurek was later assigned to the head of police intelligence and he was found to have hidden intelligence reports regarding the assassinations planning.
Dink was called to the Istanbul Governor’s Office in 2004, where two MİT operatives warned him that reporting that Sabiha Gocmen, the first female Turkish pilot, was Armenian could cause him trouble.
Nedim Sener is the author of “Hrant Dink Cinayeti ve Istihbarat Yalanları” (“The Hrant Dink Murder and Intelligence Lies”). He faced trial for “making targets of civil servants,” “obtaining secret documents” and “exposing secret documents” in his book but was acquitted in June. Sener won the Abdi Ipekci Journalism Award of the Year in 2010 for his reporting of the Dink assassination.