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Turkey's ruling parties block inquiry into assassination of journalist

Hrant Dink, a Turkish-Armenian journalist, was murdered 12 years ago

LEGISLATORS of Turkey’s ruling coalition have voted against a motion demanding a parliamentary inquiry into the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, who was shot dead 12 years ago this Saturday.

Hrant Dink
Hrant Dink

The Justice and Development Party and its far-right ally the Nationalist Movement Party joined forces today to reject People’s Democratic Party MP Garo Paylan’s call for an investigation into the killing of the founder and editor of the Agos newspaper.

Mr Dink was shot three times as he left his Istanbul office by lone hitman Ogun Samast, who was caught the next day. 

Many suspect the Turkish state of collusion with the crime, but although some public officials were brought to trial for the murder, they have all be acquited.

In Mr Dink’s final article, headed My Heart’s Dovish Disquiet, which appeared on the day of his murder, he wrote of his fear that 2007 would be a difficult year for him.

He had been charged with “insulting Turkishness” for stating at a conference that he was not a Turk but Armenian Turkish and said that he expected that more accusations would be made against him.

However, he remained hopeful, saying: “I will find reassurance in the fact that, while I may view my current state of mind, my current state of soul, as being marked by the disquiet characteristic of doves, I know that in this country, nobody ever hurts doves.

“Doves live their lives in the hearts of cities, amid the crowds and human bustle.

“Yes, they live a little uneasily, a little apprehensively — but they live freely too.”

Mr Dink was dedicated to healing the divisions between Turks and Armenians. He campaigned for recognition of the 19-15-23 Armenian genocide, during which 1.5 million people were systematically exterminated by the Ottoman authorities.

Mr Paylan, who was banned from parliament for using the word “genocide” in the chamber in 2017, presented the motion calling for the inquiry referring to the country’s constitution.

“Although it has been 12 years since Hrant Dink was murdered … the public officials who were involved in the murder and their liabilities in the murder have not been brought to light and justice has not been served,” he said.

“Like the period which resulted in the murder of Hrant Dink, the judicial process regarding the murder has been disabled by practices which will leave a mark on the collective memory.”


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