ISTANBUL — Hrant Dink, the Istanbul-Armenian journalist killed in 2007, was commemorated on the anniversary of his death on Tuesday, by a crowd who convened outside the Agos daily, where he served as editor-in-chief, Turkish media reports.
Thousands of people filed past the military museum in the Sisli district at around 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 19 to walk toward the Agos office building to read a statement at the site where Dink was shot dead by triggerman Ogün Samast nine years ago.
Accompanied by water cannons and armored vehicles, police took intense security measures along the route of the march as well as around the office of weekly Agos in Sisli’s Osmanbey neighborhood.
Waving banners reading “We are here, ahparig!” (roughly translated as “brother” in Armenian), the mourners renewed calls for a further inquiry into those who masterminded his murder. Samast was captured and subsequently convicted for Dink’s murder, but the investigation into his death was muddled with allegations of cover-up and suspicion of the involvement of the controversial Gülen Movement.
Relatives and followers of the case have claimed government officials, police, military personnel and members of Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency (MIT) played a role in Dink’s murder by neglecting their duty to protect the journalist.
Dink’s assassination sent shockwaves through Turkey and grew into a wider scandal after it emerged that the security forces had known of the murder plot, but failed to act.
An Istanbul court last month finally accepted an indictment against 25 public officials, including former police and intelligence chiefs, on charges of “forming a criminal organisation,” as well as voluntary manslaughter and negligence.
The accused, including former Istanbul police chief Celalettin Cerrah, may face a trial.