ISTANBUL (Hurriyet Daily News)—Ogün Samast, the confessed triggerman in the assassination of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, has claimed he committed the act under the influence of media labeling of Dink as a “traitor.”
Samast’s case was separated from the main trial because he was under 18 years of age on Jan. 19, 2007, the day of the murder. Samast attended the second hearing of his trial in juvenile court in Istanbul on Monday. He blamed the media for the assassination. Samast shot Dink in the back outside the Istanbul offices of the Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos, of which Dink was the chief editor.
Samast offered a letter to the court in which he had written: “I am not guilty. The headlines that portrayed Dink as if he was a traitor were guilty. I have [opened my] eyes, now, let the ones who wrote those headlines think about it. Where are the people who have brought me to this process? I did not even know what Agos was.” Samast also stated he could just have thrown a punch at Dink and left, but there were “people who had convinced” him.
For the last four years, the “Friends of Hrant Dink” platform has decried the lack of investigation into any involvement beyond the triggerman.
Dink was the target of a media lynching campaign regarding a story he published in Agos. The story claimed Sabiha Gökçen, the first Turkish woman pilot and the foster daughter of Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, was actually of Armenian origin.