ANKARA — A former high-ranking Turkish police intelligence chief has been detained as part of an investigation into negligence by officials in the 2007 murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.
Ramazan Akyürek, who was detained in Ankara on Feb. 26, had served as the head of the police in the Black Seaprovince of Trabzon between December 2003 and May 2006. He then served as the head of Police Intelligence between May 2006 and October 2009.
Akyurek was among hundreds of police removed from their posts amid a purge of officers believed to be linked to U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, the government’s ally-turned-nemesis. An Ankara court had rejected Akyürek’s dismissal in January 2014.
The Istanbul Prosecutor’s Office initially aborted an ongoing probe into the alleged negligence of nine public servants, but the 8th Heavy Penal Court in Istanbul’s Bakirköy district cancelled the decision, reopening the probe on June 6, 2014.
Akyürek was detained after all the criminal files regarding the Dink murder were combined into a single probe in Istanbul, as instructed by Istanbul Prosecutor Gökalp Kökçü.
In his testimony in October 2014, Akyürek had placed the blame of the murder on the Istanbul Police Director, while using the phrases “I don’t remember” and “I don’t know” a total of 27 times in response to the prosecutor’s questions.
In January, two Turkish police officers were arrested on suspicion of failure to prevent Dink’s murder.