Turkey’s top court rejects slain journalist’s family appeal

Turkey’s Constitutional Court (AYM) has rejected an appeal lodged by the family of slain journalist Hrant Dink’s who requested an effective probe into state officials who could not be investigated in the related murder case saying legal remedies have not been exhausted, weekly Agos reported on Thursday.

The Dink family previously appealed to the AYM in 2016 when an Istanbul criminal court dismissed legal proceedings against 24 suspects including retired brigadier general Veli Kucuk, former Istanbul vice-governor Ergun Gungor and retired National Intelligence Organization (MIT) official Ozel Yilmaz.

Hrant Dink, the editor-in-chief of the Armenian-Turkish weekly Agos, was assassinated in Istanbul on January 19, 2007.

The triggerman Ogun Samast, a 17-year-old high-school dropout, was captured a few days after the murder.

In the appeal, the family had demanded an indictment be conducted for some of the suspects and investigations be launched for some others.

Turkey’s Justice Ministry presented its opinion on June 2019, three years after the family’s appeal saying the trial was still continuing and providing information about the case file.

On July 18 the top court made a similar ruling saying the trial process had not been finalized.

“At this stage, before the judicial authorities clarify the reasons and namely the occurrence conditions of the murder incident, it is not possible for the AYM to examine the applicants’ allegations and whether an effective investigation has been conducted into the incident as a whole,”  the AYM said in its ruling.

The family is reportedly planning to apply to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

Dink’s writings, notably on the issue of the Armenian genocide, attracted the ultranationalists’ anger after he was prosecuted three times for violating Article 301 of the Turkish penal code which defines the crime of insult on Turkishness, the Turkish nation or Turkish institutions.

Turkey’s alleged deep state members, including some state officers, were accused of allowing the assassination to happen in a bid to further their own political agenda in the trials which later collapsed after the case’s judges and prosecutors were themselves accused of using their positions to pursue a secret agenda.

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