Afrique Ameriques Asie Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Turkey18 July 2007

Six months after editor’s murder, authorities warned that incomplete trial will not be accepted

Reporters Without Borders today voiced its support for the demands of the family, friends and colleagues of Hrant Dink, a newspaper editor of Armenian descent who was gunned down in Istanbul exactly six months ago on 19 January 2007.

“We call on the authorities to pursue their investigation and to shed light on all aspects of this case,” the press freedom organisation said. “The trial of Dink’s alleged murderers that opened on 2 July in Istanbul and is due to have its next hearing on 1 October, is a crucial test for the Turkish judicial system. Its independence is at stake here.”

Reporters Without Borders added: “We will not be satisfied with a trial in which only some of those responsible for Dink’s murder are in the dock. All those who played a role must be identified including, if necessary, those who work for the security services. It is essential that the judicial system should expose the various connections between military, police and other officials that may have been involved in this case.”

Reporters Without Borders went to Istanbul for the opening of the trial and saw the size of the demonstration outside. “We are all witnesses and we want justice,” said one of the banners displayed by the many demonstrators gathered outside the courthouse.

Born in 1954, Dink was the editor of the weekly Agos, Turkey’s leading Armenian newspaper. For years he had been urging his fellow citizens to face up to the issue of the Armenian genocide in 1915. Although the target of threats and accusations, he always refused to leave Turkey.

He said in his last interview: “It is here that I want to pursue the fight, because it is not just my fight, it is the fight of all those who want Turkey to be democratised. If I give up and leave the country, it will be a shame for everyone. My ancestors lived in this country, it is here that I have my roots, and I have the right to die in the country where I was born.”

The 18 defendants are all from Trabzon, a Black Sea city with a reputation for ultra-nationalist violence. The youngest defendant, Ogün Samast, 17, is the one who is alleged to have fired the shots that killed Dink. The two defendants who allegedly got him to do it, Erhan Tuncel and Yasin Hayal, face life imprisonment. The other 15 defendants are charged with complicity.

  In this country
2 June - Turkey
Woman journalist held for past five weeks on baseless charge of link to armed group
12 May - Turkey
Journalist held for past two weeks on suspicion of collaborating with armed group
5 May - Turkey
YouTube completes a year of being blocked in Turkey
1 April - Turkey
Ergenekon conspirators could have been behind journalist Hrant Dink’s murder
11 March - Turkey
Journalist arrested and charged in connection with alleged Ergenekon conspiracy

in the annual report
Turkey - Annual Report 2008
Turkey - Annual report 2007
Turkey - 2006 Annual report

Europe press releases
4 June - Kosovo
Rrokum TV station still excluded by national broadcasting network
2 June - Ukraine
Potential witness’s death deals severe blow to probe into journalist’s murder
2 June - Russia
Journalist seeks asylum in Finland after being convicted for prison torture articles
29 May - France
Regrettable decision by appeal court to lift ban on magazine only if offending photo is covered up
28 May - Azerbaijan
Court breaks law by refusing to release journalist on health grounds

5 February 2009 - Bulgaria
“Resignation or resistance, Bulgaria’s embattled press hesitates”
28 January 2009 - Russia
Fact-finding visit : Moscow double murder may have been linked to November attack on local newspaper editor
27 June 2008 - Turkey
Investigation report into the detention of journalist Haci Bogatekin, imprisoned for more than two months and facing ten and a half years in prison

Sign the petitions
Jusuf Ruzimuradov

Europe archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives