President Gül Admits State’s Responsibility for Dink Murder

President Gül Admits State’s Responsibility for Dink Murder

President Gül Admits State’s Responsibility for Dink Murder

President Abdullah Gül accepted the state’s responsibility for the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink. Gül said that Dink died because “necessary precautions” had not been taken prior to the murder.
In an announcement made prior to a state visit to Azerbaijan on Monday (16 August), President Abdullah Gül said that “necessary precautions” to prevent the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink had not been taken. Gül admitted the responsibility of the state for the killing of the journalist.
Gül is currently paying an official visit to Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. In a press conference at Atatürk Airport in Istanbul held prior to his departure, Gül stated, “Unfortunately, Hrant Dink died because the necessary precautions had not been taken”.
With Gül’s statement, the state’s responsibility for the murder of the then editor-in-chief of the Armenian Agos newspaper was admitted on the highest level.
Foreign Minister claimed Dink to have “insulted Turkishness”

When Dink had been sentenced to prison on the grounds of his writings, he had applied to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). One week later, on 19 January 2007, he was assassinated. While the case at the ECHR was still pending, the Dink family opened another trial and raised the question why the murder had not been prevented. In the defence of the Turkish government before the ECHR the government had just recently claimed, “Dink insulted Turkishness, he wrote a hate speech. This kind of writing incites the public to hatred and creates a public offence”.
Pointing to the fact that the person who threatened employees of the Agos newspaper had been penalized, the government said, “”If it is agreed that the protection of freedom of thought is a positive responsibility of the state, then the ideas expressed on a disputable matter as in the letters sent by this person should also be agreed on as discussable and these thoughts must be protected as well. It is however impossible to protect thoughts of hatred”.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs said that this defence was a technical statement based on previous defences. (BB)

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