Friday, March 5, 2010

Movement on Dink

PHOTO from Hurriyet Daily News

Another small bit of justice was issued to the Dink family this week when a an Istanbul court found the state-owned Turkish Radio and Television Broadcasting Corporation guily of defamation for airing a documentary making unfounded accusations that Dink was responsible for the 1978 Maras massacres. After a long court battle (TRT ran the documentary in December 2008), the court ordered TRT, Bey Productions Company (the company that produced the documentary), and Maras MP Okkes Sandiller (a prime suspect of the Maras massacres who made the accusation) to pay a total of 20,000 TL in compensation. For more on the case, see this article from Bianet.

Last week resulted in another small victory. Criticizing the Interior Ministry's report of the Hrant Dink investigation as cursory and artificial, the Prime Ministerial Review Committee (BTK) has opened up the possibility of a new investigation -- a long-time demand of of the Dink family and those supporters and activists who continue to demand justice fromthe state. From Radikal's Tarik Isik (translated by Hurriyet Daily News):
The board objected to the report on the grounds that “its findings just skimmed the surface.” The Interior Ministry’s inspectors completed the report about the 19 police officers, including head of the Central Police Intelligence Unit Ramazan Akyürek, on Nov. 9. Akyürek was the police chief of Trabzon prior to Dink’s murder in Istanbul three years ago.

Hrant Dink’s wife, Rakel Dink, had applied to the BTK, which released a report. After the board’s report, the Interior Ministry prepared another report saying it was not necessary to start an investigation of the 19 police officers.

BTK wrote a statement on Jan. 18 saying it did not agree with the results of the ministry’s report. The statement said the role of the head of the Central Police Intelligence Unit to prevent the murder cannot be ignored.

“It is still doubtful whether the necessary measures were taken upon the notices given by former police informer Erhan Tuncel in Trabzon before the murder of Dink,” read the statement, which added that there are still doubts the intelligence information has been carefully evaluated. Tuncel said he warned the Trabzon police about Dink’s murder.

BTK also said the civil inspectors of the Interior Ministry exceeded their authority by preparing a “research report,” as they were only asked to make a preliminary investigation about the 19 officers. A preliminary investigation includes collecting information and documents about the investigated people and submitting it with the opinions of the inspectors. But the “research report” is more detailed than that.

The Prime Ministry’s statement does not make the Interior Ministry’s report invalid, according to the law. But, it is a message to the ministry. Interior Minister Beşir Atalay plans to prepare a new report upon the BTK’s statement said some sources.

The BTK is directly tied to the prime minister and one of its duties is to investigate, research and control public occupational institutions.
For more on the Dink investigation, see past posts.

No comments: