Şaban Çoban/ DUVAR                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Prominent historian Dr. Necip Hablemitoğlu was assassinated in front of his home in Ankara in 2002. His wife Şengül Hablemitoğlu and her lawyer  released a statement last week following the news that her husband’s alleged killer, N.G.B., was captured in Ukraine and is currently under house arrest. 

“There needs to be political determination. As long as the state is not as brave as the murders that have killed so many people and intellectuals, I won’t be hopeful,” Hablemitoğlu said. Though the perpetrators of murder of her husband is still unknown, Necip Hablemitoğlu was a prominent and outspoken critic of the exiled Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen and his followers, which the governent has blamed for the July 2016 coup attempt. 

While the government were longtime allies with Gülen and his followers, many of whom deliberately worked their way into significant positions in the state apparatus with the blessing of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the two had a falling out that intensified over a corruption scandal in 2013 that the government blasted as an attempt to delegitimize the government. The feud intensifed following the failed coup, which saw the arrest of thousands on the basis of being members of the Fethutallist Terror Organization (FETÖ), which is what the government now calls the group. 

File photo: Slain Necip Hablemitoğlu with his daughters.

Terrifying case of Rabia Naz

Referring to the suspicious death of the the 11-year-old child Rabia Naz Vatan in the province of Giresun, an event that the government has tried to be covered up due to the fact that the relative of a former area AKP politician may have killed Naz in a car accident and then tried to make her death look like a suicide, Hablemitoğlu said that responsibility to find the killers in these situations shouldn’t fall on the relatives of the victims. 

“The situation that Rabia Naz’s father is terrifying. We are not after the killers, and we shouldn’t be. As a father, Şaban Vatan is dealing with that responsibility. As a spouse who lost her husband and the father of our children, I shouldn’t be after the killer. If those on duty in the state fulfilled their responsibilities, we wouldn’t be at this point 17 years later nor would Şaban Vatan be forced to seek out the killer of his daugther,” Hablemitoğlu said.

“Those sacrificed can change. It can be Rabia, Uğur, Necip, Hrant, or Tahir, but as long as this dark situation does not change, it’s all meaningless ,” she said, referring to the assassinations of prominent journalists Uğur Mumcu and Hrant Dink, and respected lawyer Tahir Elçi.