Afrique Ameriques Asie Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Turkey21 March 2008

Two Trabzon gendarmes accuse superiors of doing nothing to stop Dink murder

Two gendarmes from the northeastern city of Trabzon, Okan Simsek and Veysel Sahin, testified yesterday in court that they told their superiors about plans to kill journalist Hrant Dink six months before his murder on 19 January 2007, but their superiors did nothing and later threatened them with reprisals if they mentioned the information.

Simsek and Sahin, who are on trial for failing to react after learning about a plot to murder Dink, said they told the head of the Trabzon gendarmerie and their unit chief that they had learned from police informer Coskun Igci that a relative of his, Yasin Hayal, was plotting Dink’s murder. Hayal is himself currently on trial as one of the murder’s masterminds.

“The confessions of these two Trabzon gendarmes are chilling,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The security forces in Trabzon might have been able to prevent Dink’s murder if they had taken action. All those who were aware of this information and did nothing must be severely punished.”

Questioned in court yesterday in Trabzon, the two gendarmes said they were ordered to perjure themselves when there was an investigation after Dink’s murder. They accused their superiors of doing nothing to ensure that adequate measures were taken to prevent the murder.

Their testimony confirms what Igci, the informer, told a police court in Trabzon three months ago, on 22 January. The two gendarmes added that a report detailing Igci’s information was subsequently written on the orders of gendarme commanders Ali Öz and Metin Yildiz and was backdated to 20 January 2007 to make it look as though it was sent immediately after Dink’s murder.

The court trying the two gendarmes has summoned all 10 senior gendarme officers who were allegedly told at a meeting of the plan to murder Dink.

A criminal court in the Istanbul suburb of Sili meanwhile sentenced Zafer Filiz yesterday to three years in prison for sending a racist and threatening email to the headquarters of Dink’s newspaper, Agos, on 1 February 2007, 12 days after his murder.

  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