Mehmet Ali Birand
Hurriyet Daily News
The Turkish state seems set on protecting Hrant Dink’s killers, said Mehmet Ali Birand. The outspoken ethnic Armenian journalist made himself many enemies by raking over the massacre of Armenians at the hands of Turks during World War I. Nationalists had openly threatened to kill him, so there was no surprise when he was gunned down near his office five years ago.
Eventually, a 17-year-old assassin was jailed, but few believed he had acted alone. A plot involving state officials was widely suspected, and it later emerged that even the police had known about it. After a new trial, a second man was jailed, but the judges last week cleared 19 other suspects, finding no evidence, against all likelihood, of any plot—even though lawyers were barred access to key witnesses and surveillance-camera footage and other crucial evidence went missing.
Basically they want us to believe that two teenagers got it into their heads to go to Istanbul and kill an Armenian, then “wandered round until they found Hrant” and “one of them pulled the trigger.” Please. “Even the crows must be laughing at this verdict.” The Turkish state has proved once again that it is not yet ready to render even-handed justice to those it sees as enemies.