Probe opened into inspectors for ‘clearing police chiefs’ of role in Dink murder

A probe has been opened into the two Interior Ministry inspectors who allegedly covered up the acts of police chiefs in the murder of Armenian Turkish journalist Hrant Dink in 2007, daily Yeni Şafak reported on March 2, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.

Two Interior Ministry inspectors, Mustafa Üçkuyu and Mehmet Canoğlu, are facing dismissal from the profession through a probe that is investigating their report on the role of the former head of Turkey’s police intelligence department, Ramazan Akyürek, and former Istanbul police intelligence chief, Ali Fuat Yılmazer, over the murder of Dink in 2007.

Ogün Samast assassinated Dink in broad daylight on a busy street outside of the office of the bilingual Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos in Istanbul’s Şişli district. Samast is serving a sentence of 22 years and 10 months in a high-security prison. Yasin Hayal and police informant Erhan Tuncel are accused of encouraging Samast to kill Dink in theBlack Sea province of Trabzon.

In their report dated Nov. 9, 2009, the two inspectors stated that the Trabzon police chiefs told the authorities in a report on Feb. 17, 2006 that Yasin Hayal did not have any records of being a member of a terrorist organization, Yeni Şafak reported.

The Trabzon police also reportedly said Dink did not need any protection because he is not the target of any terrorist organizations, reaching this conclusion upon the testimony of Yılmazer, who said that in a person has to be the target of a terrorist or criminal organization in order to be included in the targeted person project system, the report added.

Yeni Şafak also reported that another report prepared by the Prime Ministry on Oct. 10, 2008 had accused Yılmazer of negligence in Dink’s murder.

Akyürek was arrested late on Feb. 27 over Dink’s murder, on charges of negligence on the job at the time of Dink’s murder.

Akyürek was removed from his position right after the Dec. 17, 2013 corruption and graft operation, along with hundreds of other senior police officers allegedly linked to U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, the government’s ally-turned-nemesis. However, a local Ankara court rejected Akyürek’s dismissal in January 2014.

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