Top Turkish appeals court orders Interior Ministry to pay 1 million liras to Dink family

Turkey's Court of Cassation has upheld a lower court's decision ordering the Interior Ministry to pay over 1 million liras in compensation to the family of slain Turkish-Armenian journalist and editor-in-chief of Agos newspaper Hrant Dink.

Duvar English

Turkey's Court of Cassation, the country's highest court of appeals, has upheld a decision of a lower court ordering the Interior Ministry to pay 1,066,000 liras (approximately $119,000) to the family of slain Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, Indepedent's Turkish service reported on Oct. 11.

The case concerns the application of the family of Dink, who had filed a lawsuit against the Interior Ministry for failing to protect Dink.

In its decision, the Istanbul 6th Administrative Court had said that the ministry should have taken the necessary measures to protect Dink's right to life. 

The local court had pointed out that Dink was already at the target of ultra-nationalist groups due to some of his pieces in the Agos newspaper. It had also ordered the ministry to pay 466,781 liras in pecuniary damages and 600,000 liras in non-pecuniary damages to the journalist's family.

After the ministry appealed the decision, the case was taken to the Court of Cassation, which unanimously approved the decision of the Istanbul 6th Administrative Court.

In March of this year, an Istanbul court sentenced several people to prison for their role in the journalist's murder, after 14 years of drawn-out legal proceedings. Istanbul 14th Heavy Penal Court gave jail sentences to former police chiefs and gendarmerie officers for covering up the plot to kill the journalist.

Dink was shot dead as he left his Istanbul office in January 2007. After the murder, tens of thousands gathered in central Istanbul to mourn.

In 2010, the European Court of Human Rights ordered Turkey to pay 100,000 euros ($118,000) to Dink's family in compensation, saying the authorities had failed to adequately protect Dink even though they knew ultra-nationalists were plotting to kill him.

Dink had worked for reconciliation between Christian Armenians and Muslim Turks and was repeatedly prosecuted for insulting "Turkishness" over his comments on Armenian identity and the massacres of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915.