ISTANBUL (Hurriyet Daily)—Ahmet İlhan Güler, who was head of the Istanbul police’s intelligence unit at the time of Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink’s murder, has accused former Trabzon police intelligence head Ramazan Akyürek of “hiding” information about the attack.
“From the beginning, Akyürek has had hidden information [about the phone records belonging to Osman Hayal] from inspectors to cover up the intelligence, to put us in a troublesome situation and to absolve their responsibility on the issue,” said Güler during his testimony to Istanbul prosecutor Yusuf Doğan as a suspect in the Dink murder case.
The records Güler referred to belong to a phone that was used by Osman Hayal, the brother of Yasin Hayal, who was charged with instigating the assassination and is serving an aggravated life sentence. The document of the phone logs that Akyürek prepared, after the chief civil inspectors requested them, had not been researched properly, according to Güler.
Dink was assassinated by Ogün Samast in broad daylight on a busy street outside the office of the bilingual Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos in Istanbul’s Şişli district on Jan. 19, 2007. The assassination caused outrage across the country, sending hundreds of thousands to the streets in mass rallies. Samast is serving 22 years and 10 months in a high-security prison
Güler also claimed the Trabzon police intelligence unit sent notice to their department saying “a significant attack will take place,” which was different from a notice that was sent to the Turkish National Police’s Intelligence branch that said “he will be killed regardless of its results.”
The investigation into Dink’s murder took a different path after the government launched a fight against the so-called “parallel structure,” which the government uses to refer to the movement of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen. The Justice Ministry has cleared the way for investigations into nine civil servants accused of negligence in Dink’s murder.
The government started the fight against the “parallel structure” after two graft probes investigating around 100 people – including four former ministers, their sons, the former manager of state-run Halkbank, a construction tycoon and Azeri-Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab – was launched in December 2013, marking Turkey’s biggest ever corruption case.