ISTANBUL: Hrant Dink Case Prosecutors Search For Link To ‘Cage Plan’


Today’s Zaman
April 7 2010

Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was killed by an
ultranationalist teenager in 2007.

The prosecutors in the murder trial of Turkish-Armenian journalist
Hrant Dink have been investigating a possible link between the
journalist’s killing and the Cage Operation Action Plan, an alleged
military plot to intimidate the country’s non-Muslim population by
assassinating some of their prominent community figures.

The co-plaintiff lawyers demanded in February, during the 12th hearing
of the Dink trial, that the court investigate whether Dink’s killing
was part of the Cage plan, an alleged military plot to create panic
and chaos exposed by the Taraf daily late last year. The plan mostly
focused on killing non-Muslims and bombing mosques to create turmoil
that would eventually help the plotters take over the government.

Upon the demand of the lawyers, prosecutor Selim Berna Altay,
investigating Dink’s murder, and Fikret Secen, who was also recently
assigned to the trial, have been examining the indictment into
the plot.

The Cage plan was detailed on a CD seized last year from the office of
retired Maj. Levent BektaÅ~_, who was arrested in April for suspected
links to a large cache of munitions buried in Ä°stanbul’s Poyrazköy
area. That discovery came as part of an investigation into Ergenekon,
a clandestine gang whose suspected members are currently standing
trial on charges of having plotted to overthrow the government. The CD
exposed the group’s plans to assassinate prominent Turkish non-Muslim
figures and place the blame for the killings on the Justice and
Development Party (AK Party). The desired result was an increase in
internal and external pressure on the party, leading to diminishing
public support for the government.

The Cage plan calls the killings of Dink, Catholic priest Father
Andrea Santoro and three Christians in Malatya an "operation."

According to the police report, the mastermind behind the Cage plan
was Ä°brahim Å~^ahin, the former deputy chief of the National Police
Department’s Special Operations Unit. Prosecutor Altay has also
reportedly met with Dink’s family on the issue.

The lawyers of Dink’s family think that the killing of the journalist
was the work of an organized group.

The indictment into the Cage plan was accepted by the Ä°stanbul
12th High Criminal Court late last month. According to the 65-page
indictment, the plot team was being coordinated and led by retired
Adm. Ahmet Feyyaz Ogutcu. The indictment calls for jail sentences
of up to 15 years for three admirals on charges of membership in a
terrorist organization.

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