Dink, the late editor-in-chief of Agos, was shot dead by an ultranationalist teenager outside the offices of his newspaper in broad daylight in İstanbul on Jan. 19, 2007. The investigation into his murder stalled when the suspected perpetrator and his accomplices were put on trial as those who masterminded the plot to kill him have yet to be exposed and punished. In the face of growing calls from the public and a European Court of Human Rights ruling that found Turkey guilty of failing to protect Dink's right to life and of carrying out a thorough investigation into the officers who failed to take the necessary measures in light of early warnings and tips about the plot to kill Dink, Gül ordered the DDK to investigate the Dink murder last year.
The investigation that followed Dink’s death revealed that the police had been tipped off to the plans for the murder of the journalist; however, the police failed to intervene. The summary of the DDK report said the sequence of negligent acts by public officials was not examined as a whole and no investigation was launched separately into different state institutions.
It said the method adopted during the investigation of public officials led to the failure of not investigating all allegations about public officials as a whole.
The report noted that as a result of this failure, the seriousness of the actions of public officials in the run up to the murder has not been understood and the link between their actions and the murder could not be established, leading to the failure of all of the investigations into public officials. Speaking to the station NTV, Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Deputy Chairman Hüseyin Çelik agreed that mistakes had been made throughout the investigation of the Dink murder.
“We know that many mistakes were made since the beginning in the run up to murder, which began in Trabzon. The detection of these mistakes by the DDK is a significant step to see the functioning of the law. The final ruling in the Dink case will be appealed. When the DDK findings are conveyed to the relevant authorities, there will be investigations again,” he said.
A majority of the suspects, including the hitman, are from Trabzon, where police say they had informed the İstanbul police about the plot to kill Dink on more than one occasion.
The İstanbul 14th High Criminal Court issued its final ruling in the Dink trial last month, which failed to please those expecting justice to be served. During the process, lawyers for the Dink family and the co-plaintiffs in the case presented evidence indicating that hitman Ogün Samast did not act alone. Samast stood trial in a juvenile court because he was a minor at the time of the murder. He was recently sentenced to 22 years, 10 months in prison by the court. In a separate trial, two gendarmerie officers were convicted on charges of dereliction of duty in the run-up to the Dink murder.
Another suspect, Yasin Hayal, was given life in prison for inciting Samast to murder. However, Erhan Tuncel, who worked as an informant for the Trabzon Police Department, was found not guilty of masterminding the murder. The prosecution believes the killers are affiliated with the Ergenekon network, a shadowy criminal network that has alleged links within the state and whose suspected members are currently standing trial on charges of plotting to overthrow the government.