The editor-in-chief of the Armenian weekly Agos, Robert Koptaş, and writer Ümit Kıvanç are being investigated for allegedly insulting Turkishness during a televised program right after the verdict in the Hrant Dink case on Jan. 17, 2012, Hurriyet Daily News reports quoting Radikal.
The Istanbul Prosecutor’s Office began the investigation a day after citizen from Antalya identified as Aydın Taşçı filed a complaint claiming that he was bothered by both writers’ opinions, the report said. He was invited to give a testimony in May 2012.
Following a long period of gathering evidence, prosecutors summoned both Koptaş and Kıvanç to testify last week. Sources at the office told Radikal that the investigation was in the phase of collecting evidence and that it could be dropped after testimony from both of the accused.
However, because of a new law, prosecutors are now forced to ask permission from the Justice Ministry before launching any investigation into any case that falls under the purview of Article 301, which encompasses the crime of insulting “Turkishness.” The Justice Ministry has said there has not been any application to obtain permission in the case of Koptaş and Kıvanç.
‘Obviously an Armenian’
Taşçı referred in his complaint to Koptaş as “obviously an Armenian,” Radikal reported. “I wanted to notify that as a Turkish citizen, I do not accept them saying that the Turkish state is a murderer, that it continues its murders, as well as the objectionable words they have used about the judicial process,” Taşçı wrote.
Koptaş and Kıvanç’s lawyer said the complaint should not have been taken into consideration. “The responsibility of public servants in the murder of Hrant Dink was determined in a decision by the European Court of Human Rights. Even the prosecutors [of the Dink case] said the investigation had not been effective enough. This was the opinions expressed by Koptaş and Kıvanç.”