Friday, February 02, 2007

Turkey probes Dink suspect video

Friday, 2 February 2007,
BBC News

A probe has begun in Turkey after a man charged with killing a Turkish Armenian journalist appeared in a video posing with police and the national flag. Footage showed Ogun Samast, 17, in front of one flag and holding another while uniformed police posed with him.

The images caused shock in Turkey, with one newspaper suggesting the teenager was treated like a hero.

He is accused of killing Hrant Dink, who was shot dead outside his newspaper offices in Istanbul on 19 January.

Mr Dink was well-known for writing controversial articles about the mass killing of Armenians by Turks during World War I. He had been the target of multiple death threats from Turkish nationalists.

His murder triggered anger and shock across Turkey.

'Shoulder to shoulder'

Several Turkish television stations showed the footage, said to have been filmed shortly after Mr Samast was captured.

The teenager is pictured flanked by security officials, while a voice is heard telling him to tidy his hair.

In the background, a poster shows a quote from Turkish founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk: "The nation's land is sacred. It cannot be left to fate."

Sabah newspaper accused police of standing "shoulder to shoulder with the gunman", while another newspaper, Vatan, called the images as serious as the killing itself.

Ismet Berkan, editor of the Radikal newspaper, said that the footage proved "that the murderer and his associates are not alone, that their supporters... have penetrated all segments of the state".

Police spokesman Ismail Caliskan said an investigation was under way into officers seen in the footage, as well as into who leaked it to the media.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.



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