Lawmakers of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on Nov. 16 voted down a proposal demanding a parliamentary inquiry into the assassination of Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, ANKA News Agency reported.
The proposal was submitted by the opposition People’s Equality and Democracy Party (HEDEP) one day after Dink’s assassin, Ogün Samast, was released from the Bolu F Type Prison on parole for “good behavior” after serving 16 years and 10 months.
HEDEP lawmaker Zülküf Uçar said Samast’s release dealt “another blow” to the belief in justice in the country. “We know this compassionate attitude of the state from countless unsolved murders.”
“Ogün Samast is not the only one acquitted. The massacre order that created and used him is intended to be acquitted,” Uçar said.
Commenting on the proposal, opposition Felicity (Saadet) Party lawmaker Sema Silkin Ün reminded that the Hrant Dink case “was lost in the corridors of Ankara, as it was in the past,” meaning the instigators of the murder were not found.
Another opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker Hasan Baltacı said Dink’s assassination was “a political murder.”
“Once they accused Ergenekon (of Dink’s murder), then they accused (the Gülen network). The murder of Hrant Dink was actually organized for the construction of a new regime. Today's attempt to close the Constitutional Court and the release of the assassin of the Hrant Dink murder are steps in the process of rebuilding the regime,” Baltacı added.
After the speeches, the AKP and MHP lawmakers voted down the proposal.
Editor of bilingual Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos and Turkey’s best known Armenian voice abroad, Hrant Dink was shot in broad daylight as he left his Istanbul office in January 2007.
His killer Samast was 17 when the killing took place. He was sentenced by a juvenile court to an aggravated life in prison but it was reduced by one-third due to his age. At last, he was sentenced to 22 years and 10 months in prison in total. According to the law on execution of sentences, Samast needed to serve 15 years and 2 months of this sentence, the last 1.5 years of which would be spent under parole.
His release for “good behavior” stirred a huge reaction as opposition politicians and human rights activities stated that political and sick prisoners have not usually been released on parole for “good behavior.”