ANKARA—The Turkish State Supervisory Council appointed by President Abdullah Gul recommended on Monday that top police officers be prosecuted in the Hrant Dink murder case because they failed to protect Dink before and after his death.
“Hrant Dink’s murder must be evaluated as a whole, starting from when Dink was singled out as a target and threatened,” the 650-page State Supervisory Council (DDK) report said.
“Successive acts of negligence by public officials have not been probed as a whole. Different units conducted different probes into [these acts] in terms of authority and location … This method has resulted in not assessing the events as a whole, while also resulting in not prosecuting all claims together,” the report added.
Last month an Istanbul court sentenced Yasin Hayan to life in prison on charges of “instigating” the murder of Dink, who was gunned down in front of the editorial offices of Agos newspaper in Istanbul. The same acquitted 17 others and ruled that there was no state collusion in the murder. Ogun Samast, to 22 years and 10 months in jail last July.
Last month’s verdict sparked outrage from Dink’s family, legal team and human rights activists, who decried the verdict. The issue was further exacerbated when an Istanbul court announced that it had forgotten to prosecute another suspect in the case.
Gul’s decision to task the DDK to investigate the matter was sparked by the public outrage.
The report singled out Istanbul’s former Gov. Muammer Guler, as well as the Istanbul Police Department’s Intelligence Director, Ahmet Ilhan Guler, who were alerted about the assassination attempt by the Trabizon chief of police but did not act on the tip.
The report also highlighted that some police officers who arrested Samast immediately after the murder allowed him to be photographed with a Turkish flag as if he were proud of what he had done and described this as the “emergence of a marginal understanding.”
The DDK report also outlined that senior public officials were directly involved in not protecting Dink before the murder, despite the fact that they received critical information regarding the threats against Dink’s life.
The report said the failure to prevent Dink’s murder showed the need for reforms to the security system.
“The first issue to be expressed regarding the failure to protect Hrant Dink’s right to life is that some structural problems exist within the security sector … regarding the collection and evaluation of intelligence and providing public and personal security,” the DDK said in the report.
“It is essential first to look at the need for reform on the matter and a number of problems in institutional structures and practices,” it said.
“On the one hand, a result to a case that does not satisfy the public conscience has emerged and, on the other hand, the credibility of all the public institutions has been brought into question,” the DDK said in the report.