Ankara: Negligence In Dink Murder, Parliamentary Committee Denies Co


Turkish Daily News
July 15 2008

A subcommittee of Parliament investigating the Hrant Dink murder
arrived at the conclusion that there was negligence on the part of
the Istanbul and Trabzon gendarmerie and police intelligence services,
a newspaper reported yesterday.

According to a recent report by the subcommittee, Article 17
of the Constitution regulating "right to life" and Article 2
of the European Convention on Human Rights were violated due to
negligence. The 160-page report, which is expected to be revealed
soon, includes statements by Arat Dink, son of Hrant Dink, claiming
the deputy governor of Istanbul threatened his father before his
assassination. The report also covers interviews with officers from
Trabzon and Istanbul police and gendarmerie, according to daily

The chairman of the subcommittee, Mehmet Ocaktan, the Justice and
Development Party, or AKP, Istanbul deputy, denied the claim and
issued a written statement yesterday saying the committee had not yet
concluded the report on Dink’s murder. Ocaktan noted that the report
would be revealed after it was discussed and accepted by Parliament’s
Human Rights Committee.

Weakness in alert mechanism

According to Milliyet, the subcommittee pointed to controversies
related to Dink’s assassination and argued the alert mechanism was
insufficient despite the seriousness of threats. Trabzon police was
accused of sending a document dated Feb. 17, 2006 that included
intelligence on possible effective action against the Armenian
community and a violent threat against Dink’s life with "a low code,"
meaning the document was not regarded as urgent enough to put on
full alert.

Head of Istanbul Police Department’s intelligence unit Ahmet Ä°lhan,
who was relieved from duty after the murder, had claimed that the
document was sent to them without a red alert and it didn’t include
"action" and "murder" phrases. However former Trabzon Police Chief
Ramazan Akyurek, who became the chief of the intelligence unit later,
denied Ä°lhan’s claims and insisted that there is no such thing as a
code. "The one who saw the document should have done what he must do,"
Akyurek was quoted as saying in the subcommittee report.

Istanbul Governor Muammer Guler’s and Istanbul Police Chief Celalettin
Cerrah’s statements after the murder were also noted in the report in
an effort to strengthen claims for negligence. "The murder is not a
professional action, but a simple event," Guler had said. Meanwhile
Cerrah had argued the document sent from Trabzon on Feb. 17 did not
include any information of a death threat against Dink.