ISTANBUL (Combined Sources)—Officials from Turkey State Audit Institution (DDK) met with Hrant Dink’s widow, Rakel on orders by President Abdullah Gul as former Trabzon Police Chief denied negligence in the assassination plot, Turkish media reported.
Milliyet daily reported Wednesday that DDK officials met with Rakel Dink two weeks ago per a presidential order as pressure mounted on authorities after European Court of Human Rights Turkey found Turkey guilty of failing to protect Dink’s right to life and of failing to carry out a thorough investigation into the officers who failed to take the necessary measures in light of early warnings and tips about the plot to kill Dink.
During the meeting, which was also attended by the Dink family’s lawyers, Rakel Dink and the lawyers once again expressed frustration over the state’s failure to protect Hrant Dink and delineated her demands about the ongoing case.
Meanwhile the former Trabzon Police Chief Resat Altay denied allegations of negligence in the Dink assassination while giving testimony at the Trabzon Prosecutor’s Office as part of the murder investigation, reported Hurriyet Daily News.
“As the chief of police [in the Black Sea province of Trabzon], I was not informed about the assassination planned by [murder suspect] Yasin Hayal. Following the murder, [police informant] Erhan Tuncel was held at the department for 14 hours without my knowledge,” Altay said in his testimony.
“I heard of Yasin Hayal’s name from [alleged shooter] Ogün Samast’s father. If I had any knowledge [earlier], I would have taken precautions and ordered an operation,” he said.
The investigation launched against the Trabzon Police Department upon an appeal by the Dink family ended in a verdict not to sue, but the local Court of Serious Crimes demanded a testimony from Altay following objections by the Dink family.
“While I was in charge, Intelligence Department Directors Engin Dinç and Faruk Sarı did not relay any information to me regarding the planned assassination of Dink. I was not granted any information about Yasin Hayal and Hrant Dink during any of the briefings,” Altay said in a testimony at the Fatih Prosecutor’s Office in Istanbul on March 28.
Altay further claimed that he was not presented with the F-4 report that included the warning that Hayal was planning to kill Dink on Feb. 15, 2006, and that neither Hayal’s activities nor Dink’s murder were ever mentioned in any provincial public security meetings. Altay also denied having had any conversations about the murder with former Trabzon Police Chief Ramazan Akyürek.
“Intelligence Department Director Dinç told me that Erhan Tuncel was his informer assistant, that Tuncel was in contact with radical right-wing groups in Chechnya and that he had brought some news in relation to this,” Altay said. “I told [Dinç], ‘Let me talk to him, if there is any need.’ Dinç replied, ‘There is no need for you to see him. I will handle it myself.’ I was never told anything about Tuncel relaying any information about Dink.”
Tuncel, a former police informant in Trabzon, has said he continually warned the Trabzon police about threats to Dink’s life prior to the murder. It was subsequently found that Akyürek, the chief of police in Trabzon at the time, conveyed only one warning out of 11 to the Istanbul Police Department, the Turkish media reported in January.