HDP demands parliamentary inquiry to shed light on Hrant Dink's murder

HDP MP Garo Paylan has submitted a parliamentary inquiry to shed light on the assassination of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, who was killed on Dec. 19, 2007. In his parliamentary motion, Paylan described Dink's murder as "an organized crime," saying the journalist was at the time targeted through hate speeches adopted by certain media outlets, right-wing extremists and even government officials.

This photo taken during a commemoration ceremony shows carnations and placards having been placed on the spot where Hrant Dink was killed.

Duvar English 

Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Garo Paylan has called for a parliamentary inquiry into the murder of Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink, who was killed in broad daylight on Jan. 19, 2007, online news portal T24 reported on Jan. 18.

In his parliamentary motion, Paylan said that Dink's murder has not been still enlightened and the role of the public officials in the murder has not been exposed.

He said that Dink was at the time targeted by certain media outlets and right-wing extremists, and government officials reinforced these “hate speeches which created the atmosphere of the murder.”

“Hrant Dink's murder constitutes an organized crime. Public officials employed at the state's various posts have not taken any action with regards to the assassination plan in the process leading to the murder,” Paylan said in the parliamentary motion.

The HDP deputy said that judicial authorities have not initiated an “effective and sufficient” prosecution process against public officials who had a responsibility in the murder. “In this manner, not only did several public officials fail in fulfilling their responsibility to protect Hrant Dink's 'right to live,' but also they have played a role in creating the circumstances of the murder,” he said.

Paylan also recalled the European Court of Human Rights' (ECHR) ruling with regards to the murder, saying that the top rights court had in 2010 prosecuted the Turkish authorities for failing to uphold Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights – which lays down that states should guarantee to protect life.

“Although 14 years have passed by [since the murder], the judiciary is still very far away from its claim to expose individuals who are really behind the murder,” Paylan said.

Dink was shot dead in 2007 on Halaskargazi Street, in the Şişli district of Istanbul, where the headquarters of the Turkish-Armenian weekly newspaper Agos are located. 

Ogün Samast, then a 17-year old jobless high school dropout, confessed to the killing and was sentenced to almost 23 years in jail back in 2011.

The case grew into a wider scandal after it emerged that security forces had been aware of a plot to kill Dink but failed to take action against it.

Thirteen years after Dink's assassination, the trial of several people accused of involvement in the murder, including government security officials, is still dragging on.

A 2017 indictment accused the police officers and intelligent agency now on the trial of neglect of duty, destroying evidence and other offenses. A total of 76 suspects, four of whom are jailed and 13 are fugitives, are on trial as part of the case.