ISTANBUL (Hurriyet)—A Turkish civil society group on Wednesday called on Turkish President Abdullah Gul and other members of his government to account for his government’s failure to follow “necessary precautions” to avoid the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink.
Speaking at a press conference in Taksim, “Hrant Dink’s Friends” issued a statement, saying they were employing their legal right to obtain information and addressed a series of questions to the president, prime minister and the justice, interior and foreign ministers.
Under the law, the state must respond to the questions within 15 business days. After this period, the group will hold a second press conference to evaluate the answers.
Speaking on August 16, Gul brushed off criticism of police negligence in the Dink murder, saying only that “Hrant Dink lost his life because the necessary precautions were not taken.”
Dink, a Turkish journalist of Armenian origin, was assassinated in Istanbul on Jan. 19, 2007.
In response, the group has demanded to know which precautions were in place to prevent the murder, who failed to take them, and what was done on the issue in the wake of the murder.
Gul was also asked why he did not call on the State Supervision Board (DDK) to investigate the matter, as he immediately did for the recent Public Personnel Selection Examination (KPSS) scandal and the March 2009 helicopter crash that killed politician Muhsin Yazicioglu.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, meanwhile, was asked why the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) was not involved in the legal investigations following Dink’s murder and whether it was normal that the MIT had received no intelligence on the planned assassination ahead of time.
The group also demanded to know what intelligence, if any, was received by the MIT and what legal procedures had been initiated with regards to MIT employees.
Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin was asked why no action had been taken against people and groups who openly threatened Dink before the murder since open threats and discrimination on the basis of ethnicity and religion are an offense that does not require the target’s legal complaint for investigation.
The court decision and the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) prevention of any investigation of police officers suspected of involvement were also questioned.
The group also sarcastically demanded to know whether Interior Minister Besir Atalay had launched a probe into his own ministry’s investigators. They argued the probe would be justified because it was allegedly obvious that they had framed the civil servants after declaring them innocent of any claims of neglect.
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, meanwhile, was asked who prepared the European Court of Human Rights defense for the state in which Dink was compared to a neo-Nazi, who approved the defense and whether any legal proceedings had been launched against these parties.