Lawyer Bakırcıoğlu: Hrant Dink murder is not disclosed in all its aspects

Lawyer Hakan Bakırcıoğlu pointed out that the Hrant Dink murder is not clarified in its entirety and added that the social sensitivity that emerged after his murder should continue to give support to the case that is intended to be closed.

Even though 15 years have passed since the murder in Turkey of Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, the Editor-in-Chief of Agos Newspaper, the cloud of suspicion over the case still remains. The acquittal of a large number of persons in the case, which lasted 14 years and was concluded in 2021, has further reinforced the impression that the case was covered up.

Hakan Bakırcıoğlu, one of the Dink family lawyers, spoke to the ANF about the case on the 15th anniversary of the journalist’s murder. Bakırcıoğlu pointed out that there was no holistic approach during the trial and that some of the defendants who had clear responsibility for the murder were either released due to prescription or acquitted due to lack of evidence.


Bakırcıoğlu emphasized that the court decisions were thus wrong. He noted that some of the suspects were not prosecuted, and the Dink murder was not fully clarified.

The lawyer revealed that they focused on some of the defendants who were acquitted after appealing to the Court of Appeal regarding the decision. “Some of the officers working in the Trabzon Provincial Security Directorate were also acquitted. We requested a reversal of the decision concerning Engin Dinç, Ercan Demir, Muhittin Zenit, Reşat Altay, since they were all released due to prescription despite the very serious evidence revealing their responsibilities in the murder of Dink. These decisions were as wrong as the decision made about the officers of the Istanbul Provincial Security Directorate. Of course, if the Court of Appeal reverses the decision, there will be a retrial.”


Bakırcıoğlu remarked that Engin Dinç, who is among the acquitted, was accused of misconduct in office in the Ankara Train Station and Dedeoğulları family massacres. He underlined that they kept requesting the removal of all the defendants from public office during the hearings for years, yet it was never accepted.

The lawyer commented on the court's interpretation that the murder was committed in line with the aims of FETO: “We always talked about a holistic responsibility, and it was accepted that some of the defendants on trial were affiliated with the organization called FETÖ-PYD. However, some of them turned out not to have any connection to the organization. Nevertheless, there was serious evidence regarding the responsibility of the defendants who were in contact with this organization and the others who had no connection. To put it concretely, Trabzon Provincial Gendarmerie Commander Ali Öz was not found to be affiliated with the FETÖ-PYD organization during the trial. However, he was sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for deliberately paving the way for the murder of Dink. Right, Ali Öz was aware of the murder and he was in a position to prevent it yet did not take any precautions. Although this person was not affiliated with the FETÖ-PYD organization, he did not take any precautions. He was found guilty since the court was convinced of his neglect. Therefore, we say that every person responsible for the Dink murder should be tried and prosecuted regardless of their organizational ties, but unfortunately, this was not done since a holistic trial was not executed.”


Bakırcıoğlu pointed out that although the murder was captured by a bank's camera and there was no problem in the footage, the court did not disclose the camera footage, and a verdict was rendered without the footage. The lawyer said that there were probably some other people near the murder scene and attempts were made to prevent access to those people.


According to Bakırcıoğlu, it is a big mistake that the trial lasted 14 years while those responsible for this murder were known from the beginning, yet since there was no effective investigation, the trial took so long.

“If an indictment had been prepared against those responsible 14 years ago, this trial would have been completed,” the lawyer noted. Bakırcıoğlu stated that for years, obstacles have been created on purpose in order not to prosecute state officials responsible for the murder. He noted that this resistance could only be broken over the years, and that the indictment against state officials could only be introduced in December 2015, 8 years after the murder. Bakırcıoğlu emphasized that this indictment was based on an incomplete investigation, hence there was no effective trial. “It seems that the Dink murder was not wanted to be clarified in all its aspects. If they had wanted to enlighten the case, a holistic investigation and trial would have been possible. However, the conclusion is that this murder is not wanted to be fully clarified, and the situation of those who had clear responsibility in the murder is not wanted to be discussed, the lawyer said.


Bakırcıoğlu pointed out that Dink’s lawyers appealed to the Court of Appeal and if there is no result, they will take the case to the Court of Cassation, the Constitutional Court and, if necessary, the European Court of Human Rights.

Bakırcıoğlu recalled that social sensitivity emerged following the murder of Dink. “This was very valuable and,  an erroneous and incomplete trial process started thanks to public reaction. If this sensitivity continues, it will be possible to discuss this case and reach a more accurate decision. We hope that the social sensitivity on the case will continue.”