ANKARA—The Turkish Parliament, last week, elected the judge who convicted Hrant Dink for “insulting Turkishness” under the notorious Article 301 to become the country’s first human rights advocate, reported Hurriyet Daily News.
This appointment has angered many and pressure is mounting for Turkey’s newly elected first ombudsman Mehmet Omeroglu to resign amid criticism from the family of slain journalist Hrant Dink.
Omeroglu, who was elected by Parliament as Turkey’s first chief ombudsman on Nov. 27, was one of the judges who approved the late Dink’s sentence under Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code, which outlaws “publicly insulting the Turkish nation,” in July 2006.
Dink was assassinated in January 2007, after being charged with violating Article 301.
Dink’s brother Khosrov said the appeals court verdict was the late journalist’s death sentence. “Instead of calling those who gave this verdict to account, they are rewarded,” he said.
Responding to calls that he resign, the retired judge has said that he was not even aware that the name in that case was “Hrant” since it was written as “Fırat,” Dink’s official name in the registered documents, according to a daily Radikal report on Nov 30.
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has also called for Omeroglu’s resignation.
The Ombudsman’s Office will be responsible for examining and investigating all manners of administrative acts, actions, attitudes and behaviors in terms of respect for human rights and freedoms, conformity with the law and fairness and appropriateness within the framework of the character of the Turkish Republic.