VIENNA (RFE/RL) — The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has urged Turkish authorities to find “the masterminds” and all those involved in the 2007 murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink following the conviction of seven defendants in the high-profile case.
In a July 19 statement, the OSCE’s representative on freedom of the media, Harlem Desir, welcomed a Turkish court’s decision a day earlier to sentence seven people to lengthy prison terms for their roles in Dink’s killing.
But Desir stressed that “more needs to be done” and expressed hope that “all others involved in this murder will face justice.”
“After 12 years, Hrant’s family, friends, and fellow journalists deserve to know the full truth behind this heinous killing,” Desir said. “It is therefore of utmost importance that the Turkish authorities identify and bring the masterminds of Dink’s murder to justice.”
The 52-year-old Dink, a leading member of Turkey’s ethnic Armenian community who was also involved in Turkish-Armenian reconciliation efforts, was gunned down in broad daylight by purported ultranationalist Ogun Samast on January 19, 2007.
Dink’s murder became a greater scandal after it emerged that Turkish security forces knew of a plot to kill him but failed to act.
A court in Istanbul on July 18 ruled that the killing was an “organized crime.”
Samast, the confessed assassin, was a teenager at the time of the killing. He was sentenced to nearly 23 years in prison in 2011 but had two more years and six months tacked onto his sentence for being a member of an armed group.
The court sentenced Erhan Tuncel to 99 years and six months in prison for involvement in Dink’s murder and being a member of an armed group.
Yasin Hayal, a Turkish nationalist who was previously sentenced to life in prison in 2012 for ordering the murder, received seven years and six months in prison for forming and leading an armed group.