The judiciary persistently blocks an investigation about the officials of the Istanbul Police Directorate who were on duty at the time prior to the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink. A related investigation could reveal concrete evidence for negligent behaviour before the murder.
Despite the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for a conviction of Turkey due to its failure to protect the journalist, the Istanbul District Administrative Court once again denied permission for an investigation about the Police officials.
The decision was communicated on 3 February. Joint attorney of the Dink family, Fethiye Çetin, said in an interview with bianet, "It is very interesting that the court resists against the ECHR decision and against new evidence; that is unbelievable".
Çetin explained that this decision made an investigation about the police officials in Istanbul impossible. She announced that they were going to apply to the ECHR against the decision.
Court refused effective investigation
After the killing of Dink on 19 January 2007, the inspectors of the Ministry of the Interior launched a preliminary investigation in order to determine a possible responsibility of the Istanbul Police. After about 1.5 years, the Istanbul District Administrative Court decided to stop the investigation in 2008 without giving any reasons.
The Prime Ministry Inspection Board requested permission for an investigation about Ahmet İlhan Güler, Head of the Intelligence Branch; his deputy Bülent Köksal; Intelligence Branch Office Chief İbrahim Pala, Section Chief İbrahim Şevki Eldivan; Desk Chief Volkan Altunbulak and police officers Bahardır Tekin and Özcan Özkan. Celalettin Cerrah, the then Chief of the Istanbul Police, was not to be included.
The lawyers applied for the inclusion of Cerrah. However, the court declared not to be able to investigate any of these persons.
Thereupon, the joint attorneys of the Dink family complained about the court board. Yet, the Ministry of Justice found the complaint digressive.
The application filed to the ECHR in relation to the Dink murder resulted in the conviction of Turkey and the court's demand to investigate public officials in order to enable an effective prosecution.
"State Supervisory Board can have moral impact"
Lawyer Çetin stressed that an investigation of the administration was essential and found the protection of the Police officials despite the ECHR decision "incredible".
Çetin also referred to President Abdullah Gül's announcement that the State Supervisory Board (DDK) was going to be involved:
"The authority of the DDK is limited but overall it can have a positive moral and ethical impact. The mistakes made may be revealed once more". (EÜ/EÖ)