Expression Interrupted

Journalists and academics bear the brunt of the massive crackdown on freedom of expression in Turkey. Scores of them are currently subject to criminal investigations or behind bars. This website is dedicated to tracking the legal process against them.

ANALYSIS | The Hrant Dink murder case: Crumbs that don't lead to the bakery

ANALYSIS | The Hrant Dink murder case: Crumbs that don't lead to the bakery

In her capacity as a member of the Prime Ministry Inspection Board of Turkey that investigated the killing of journalist Hrant Dink, Yasemin İnan was heard as a witness in the murder trial in 2017 and recounted a meeting with an unnamed National Intelligence Organization regional director for Trabzon. According to İnan, when asked “Don't you have at least a crumb,” referring to any leads into the masterminds behind the killing, the unnamed officer said: “Crumbs would lead you to the bakery”




Another curtain was closed in the Hrant Dink murder case at the end of a drawn-out legal process, which included court proceedings shifting from courthouse to courthouse and a 500-folder case file. After more than 100 hearings, the Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court announced its decision on 26 March 2021.


The trial of 76 defendants saw journalist Ercan Gün; Ali Fuat Yılmazer, who was the Chief of Police Intelligence Branch at the time; Ramazan Akyürek, who was the Head of General Directorate of Security Intelligence Department at the time; non-commissioned officers Yavuz Karakaya and Muharrem Demirkale, who were both stationed at the Intelligence Branch of the Istanbul Provincial Gendarmerie Command at the time; Ali Öz, who was the Regiment Commander of the Trabzon Provincial Gendarmerie Command at the time; and the then gendarmerie intelligence officers Okan Şimşek, Veysal Şahin and Volkan Şahin handed down various sentences.


The files of 13 defendants who were being tried in absentia, including Fethullah Gülen, former prosecutor Zekeriya Öz, former Editor-in-Chief of the shuttered Zaman newspaper Ekrem Dumanlı, and journalist Adem Yavuz Arslan, were separated.


The court concluded that the murder was committed “in line with the purposes of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization.” Denouncing the judgment on the grounds that the prosecution failed to be in-depth and extensive, the Dink family appealed the court's decision on 1 April 2021. “It is not possible for a trial that fails to address the entire mechanism to convince us or the general public,” the family said in a statement.


Previous court proceedings


Hrant Dink, the founder and editor-in-chief of the bilingual Turkish-Armenian weekly newspaper Agos, published in Istanbul since 1996, was assassinated outside the newspaper’s offices in Istanbul’s Şişli district on 19 January 2007. Almost instantly, former Istanbul Police Chief Celalettin Cerrah stated that “There [was] no organization involved in the incident.” On 21 January 2007, gunman Ogün Samast was apprehended at a bus station in the northern province of Samsun and sent to prison.


It was soon revealed that police and gendarmerie officers in the northeastern province of Trabzon, Ogün Samast's hometown, were aware of the murder plot beforehand. Erhan Tuncel, a police informant, had informed the Trabzon Police Department Intelligence Branch officers about the preparations for the murder; and Coşkun İğci, brother-in-law of Yasin Hayal, who would eventually be sentenced as the instigator of the Dink murder, had reported it to the Trabzon Gendarmerie Command Intelligence Branch officers. Nevertheless, public officials were not prosecuted for years.


The first trial in the murder case began with an indictment issued on 20 April 2007. There was a total of 20 defendants, all of whom were civilians, in the trial that started on 2 July 2007. But the file against gunman Samast was separated and sent to the juvenile court since he was under 18 at the time of the murder. At the end of the trial, the Specially Authorized Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court issued its judgment on 17 January 2012 and sentenced only three of the 19 defendants, arguing that Dink’s murder was “not committed within the framework of an organized crime activity.”


However, the Supreme Court of Appeals overturned the trial court’s judgment in May 2013 and ordered a retrial, noting that the murder should have been investigated as part of an organized crime activity. The retrial was held at the Istanbul 5th High Criminal Court due to the abolition of specially authorized courts following the “17-25 December period,” when corruption probes implicating key people in the government resulted in the resignation of four former ministers.


Defining moments


From then on, the trial was transferred from one courthouse to another for 14 years. In order to determine whether the officials had been negligent or failed in their duty to prevent the killing, the Parliament set up a sub-committee to investigate the murder, and the State Supervisory Council conducted an enquiry. There have been repeated complaints for the public officials to be prosecuted, but it has taken years for an investigation to be launched against them. Many of the people heard as witnesses as part of the initial trial became defendants in the latest trial and were sentenced.


During the first trial, the lawyers representing the Dink family asked for an investigation against several names with particular emphasis on public officials. However, all the requests for the public officials to be prosecuted were rejected and the appeals did not yield any results. Thereupon, while the trial was still in progress, the Dink family lodged an individual application with the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), which, in September 2010, convicted Turkey on the grounds that it had failed in its duty to protect Hrant Dink’s right to life and conduct an effective investigation into the murder.


Lawyers for the Dink family pressed for the prosecution of public officials, filing several complaints based on the ECtHR judgment. On 21 May 2014, the Bakırköy 8th High Criminal Court issued a ruling that paved the way for the prosecution of public officials in reference to the ECtHR judgment, following which the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office applied to the Ministry of Justice to overturn the court’s decision, citing “public interest.” The Ministry rejected the application, thus removing any remaining obstacles to the prosecution of the public officials. Regarding the prosecution of the police and gendarmerie officers in Trabzon, the Trabzon Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office asked the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) for permission to launch an investigation, since the prosecution of civil servants and public officials is subject to the permission of relevant authorities in Turkey. HSYK granted the prosecutor’s office authorization to lead the investigation. These decisions cracked a critical door open in the legal proceedings.


Indictment against public officials


Following these decisions, the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office once again took the Dink murder case off the shelf, where it had been stored for years without a hint of any serious development. On 13 January 2015, seven years after the murder, police officers Muhittin Zenit and Özkan Mumcu, who were stationed at the Trabzon Police Department Intelligence Branch at the time, were arrested as part of the investigation initially. Then came a flood of arrest warrants. Many public officials were thus arrested.


On 4 December 2015, prosecutor Gökhan Kökçü issued an indictment against 26 public officials. The Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court accepted the indictment. The total number of defendants in the case reached 85 following the merging of the case file with the retrial of civilian defendants including Erhan Tuncel, Yasin Hayal, and Ogün Samast after the Supreme Court of Appeals ruled to overturn the initial judgment in 2013, and the various side indictments against public officials in Istanbul, Samsun and Trabzon in connection with the Dink murder. The files of nine defendants, including Tuncel, Hayal and Samast, were separated in June 2019 on the grounds that the statute of limitations for a number of crimes attributed to them might expire soon, which left 76 defendants in the main case.


The indictment was issued against public officials from the Intelligence Department of the General Directorate of Security, the Trabzon Police Department, the Trabzon Provincial Gendarmerie Command, the Istanbul Police Department, the Istanbul Provincial Gendarmerie Command, the Samsun Police Department, and the Samsun Provincial Gendarmerie Command. Thus, at the end of an arduous 10-year judicial process, public officials finally began to be prosecuted in the same trial, in the same courtroom.


In the indictment regarding the negligence of the public officials, prosecutor Kökçü described the Dink murder as “the elicited murder,” claiming that the officials knew of the murder plot down to the finest details in advance.


The indictment stated that the information regarding Dink's murder was obtained beforehand; that the Istanbul Police Department officers did not take protective measures to prevent the killing; that the Trabzon Police Department officers did not undertake an operation against the criminal organization that planned the murder; that the Intelligence Department of the General Directorate of Security did not orchestrate the process of taking protective measures and undertaking an operation, and that they issued false documents after the murder was committed.


Those who evaded prosecution


The lawyers for the Dink family have long stated that the process that led to Dink's murder began when he was prosecuted for his writings. Dink had published a series of eight articles in Agos between November 2003 and February 2004, and the last article in the series had referred to the claim that Sabiha Gökçen, Turkey's first female combat pilot and the adopted daughter of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, was an Armenian orphan. After the articles were published, ultranationalist groups staged demonstrations in front of the offices of Agos; Dink was targeted in a campaign full of growing threats and he was eventually prosecuted on the charge of “insulting Turkishness” pursuant to Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) over his remarks in one of the articles.


Following the publication of the article series, Dink was also summoned to the Istanbul Governor's Office, where he was allegedly threatened, for a meeting attended by Deputy Governor Ergun Güngör and National Intelligence Organization (MİT) officers, against whom no lawsuits were filed despite the demands of the Dink family. Lawyer Kemal Kerinçsiz, an intervenor in the case against Dink, who also organized a number of demonstrations against Dink; retired Brigadier General Veli Küçük, who allegedly threatened Dink during the said meeting; and MİT officers were also excluded from the investigation and the trial, despite express demands for them to be prosecuted. The prosecutor's office decided to discontinue the proceedings against a total of 43 persons, while the requests for the MİT agents to testify at the trial were rejected.


When their objections were overruled, the lawyers for the Dink family lodged an individual application with the Constitutional Court, which declared the application inadmissible on the grounds that the trial was still pending and that the remedies were not exhausted before making the application in August 2019.


Where the murder was plotted: Trabzon


The first known official report of Dink’s planned murder is from 11 months prior to the assassination, when the Trabzon Police Department Intelligence Branch officers reported on 15 February 2006 that they had received a tip that the instigator Yasin Hayal wanted Hrant Dink dead. The defendant Erhan Tuncel was also found to be in contact with the team that plotted the murder as a police informant. The report, sent to the Intelligence Branch of the Istanbul Police Department, was also forwarded to the Intelligence Department of the General Directorate of Security two days later. At the time the report was sent, Ramazan Akyürek was serving as the Provincial Police Chief, while Engin Dinç, Muhittin Zenit, Faruk Sarı, Ercan Demir, Özkan Mumcu, Mehmet Ayhan, Mehmet Uçar, Hasan Durmuşoğlu, and Onur Karakaya were working for the Intelligence Branch in Trabzon.

In response to the pivotal question of why there was no operation against the group that was preparing to assassinate Dink and trying to procure illegal weapons during the trial process, the Trabzon Police Intelligence officers at the time claimed that the plans were “in the contemplation stage” and that “the Intelligence Branch [was] not authorized to carry out operations.”

The Trabzon Intelligence Branch sent the report to the Intelligence Department of the General Directorate of Security with a note that said, “Dink will be killed,” and to the Intelligence Branch of the Istanbul Police Department with a note that read: “There will be an influential action against Dink.” The way in which the phrasing of the notes was changed was a highly controversial subject at hearings. The Istanbul Police Department claimed that the information that Yasin Hayal, who had previously been convicted of bombing a McDonald’s restaurant in Trabzon in 2004, would carry out an influential action against Dink did not necessarily mean that Dink would be “killed.”


Engin Dinç, who was the chief of the Trabzon Intelligence Branch at the time and had signed the report, said: “An influential action is an intelligence term. It is not an expression to mitigate the incident. I deny the accusations.”


Following the killing, Engin Dinç was promoted to the Head of the General Directorate of Security Intelligence Department. In his capacity as the head of the department, Dinç sent a considerable amount of evidence to the trial -- in which he was also a defendant -- that would affect the course of the proceedings.


Throughout the hearings, the question of why the authorities refrained from taking appropriate steps to prevent the assassination although the information that Dink would be killed had been received 11 months prior was frequently reiterated. The Trabzon Police officers claimed, in their defense, that they had done their duty and informed the officers in Istanbul. The Provincial Police Chief Reşat Altay; Engin Dinç, the then chief of Trabzon Police Intelligence Branch and former Head of the Intelligence Department; and police officer Muhittin Zenit, who was working closely with Erhan Tuncel, neither of whom did take any action other than writing a single report to prevent the murder, did not receive punishment. The charges of negligence and official misconduct against the Provincial Police Chief Reşat Altay were dropped due to the statute of limitations.


Where Dink resided: Istanbul


In Istanbul, where the report was sent, Police Chief Celalettin Cerrah, Intelligence Branch Chief Ahmet İlhan Güner, Intelligence Branch officer Tevfik Cantürk and Metin Canbay, one of the heads of Intelligence Branch of Istanbul Police Department, were working at the time. Some officers of the Istanbul police force were not indicted in spite of complaints by the lawyers for the Dink family.


Throughout the trial, the issue of what the Istanbul Police did or should have done after it was informed in writing by the Trabzon police of the imminent threat against Dink was also investigated.


Unaware of the plans of an armed attack against him, Dink had not requested police protection. The Istanbul Police Department officials, who were aware of the murder plot, on the other hand, claimed that protection was not provided to Dink simply because there was no request for his protection.


Nevertheless, official documents indicating that police protection was allocated within hours for the novelist Orhan Pamuk, who was also frequently criticized in the press during the same period, despite the absence of intelligence that there was a real and imminent threat against him 13 months prior to Dink’s assassination, were added to the Dink case file.


Hrant Dink resided and was prosecuted in Istanbul. The demonstrations in front of the offices of the newspaper and courthouses where Dink stood trial, as well as the constant death threats against him, also occurred in Istanbul, in broad daylight. Still, the Istanbul Police officers insisted on claiming that there were no grounds to provide police protection to Dink during the proceedings.


In his defense statement, Celalettin Cerrah, the Istanbul Police Chief at the time, said: "I don't have a duty to protect Hrant Dink. The killing was planned in Trabzon. The Trabzon Intelligence Branch has carried out the necessary intelligence work. The Trabzon Intelligence has written to the Istanbul Intelligence Branch, and also to the Intelligence Department. The Istanbul Intelligence has done the necessary work, accordingly. This writing has not been reported to me. How could I have neglected my duty? If there is any negligence, it is the Governor's Office's doing.”


Muammer Güler, who was the Governor of Istanbul at the time and who was never prosecuted as part of the Dink case, was heard as a witness in the trial. “Dink did not request protection,” Güler said. Regarding the meeting at the Istanbul Governor's Office, Güler stated: “There was not a matter of threat or pressure. He, himself, has not made any complaint to the effect that he was pressured.” Dink, however, was quoted as saying, “I was put in my place.”


Istanbul Police officers also explained how they had gone to the bakery belonging to Yasin Hayal's brother and conducted an investigation once the intelligence arrived. However, it was revealed during the trial that the purported investigation never took place, and that a false report was later drawn up to suggest that it had been conducted.


At the end of the trial, none of the Istanbul Police Department officers of the time was convicted; the charges of official misconduct against them were dropped due to the statute of limitations.


The General Directorate of Security Intelligence Department


One of the issues that required clarification the most during the hearings was the way in which the Police Intelligence operated in cases where an intended murder was plotted in one province and the targeted individual lived in another. The court sought to ascertain the reasons behind the authorities' failure to carry out simultaneous operations across multiple provinces in relation to the threat Dink was facing, while the same practice could be adopted across dozens of provinces on account of many other issues.


The Trabzon Police Intelligence Branch had also sent their intelligence report, prepared based on information received from Erhan Tuncel, their informant regarding Hrant Dink's assassination, to the head of the Intelligence Department of the General Directorate of Security. In addition, Ramazan Akyürek, who was serving as the Trabzon Police Chief when he learned of the murder plot, later -- yet before the murder took place -- was appointed the Head of the Intelligence Department. During hearings, department officials described at length the general working system and methods of the intelligence agency. Many topics such as physical surveillance, operations, and profiling were explained in detail.


The officials in charge at the time and their titles were as follows: Sabri Uzun and Ramazan Akyürek were heads of the Intelligence Department of the General Directorate of Security; Coşgun Çakar was the Deputy Head of the Intelligence Department; Yunus Yazar was the Chief of the Intelligence Branch; Tamer Bülent Demirel, Ali Poyraz and Osman Gülbel were deputy chiefs of the Intelligence Branch; Yılmaz Angın, Mehmet Akif Yılmaz, Ömer Faruk Kartın, Serkan Şahan and Hamdi Egbatan were police office assistants.


Ali Fuat Yılmazer, former Chief of the C Branch of the Intelligence Department of the General Directorate of Security who had served in intelligence branches for years, said in his defense statement that dragged on for days: “The State has failed to fulfill its responsibility. Hrant Dink's life has not been protected. There was a political dimension behind the gunman and it corresponded to something or someone in the state. These people refrained from taking action so as not to protect Dink."


The Intelligence Department of the General Directorate of Security, who had explained how previous operations were carried out in situations involving many provinces, did not ask either the Istanbul Police or the Trabzon Police what actions were taken regarding the intelligence that Dink would be killed.


Sabri Uzun, the then Head of the Intelligence Department of the General Directorate of Security who claimed that he had no prior knowledge of the murder, argued that a coordinated intelligence operation should have been carried out as soon as the Trabzon Intelligence Branch received information that Dink would be killed. Uzun also claimed that he had not been given any information.


Among the officers of the Intelligence Department, Ramazan Akyürek, the then Head of the Intelligence Department of the General Directorate of Security, and Ali Fuat Yılmazer, the then Chief of the C Branch of the Intelligence Department who worked on minorities and right-wing terrorist organizations, were handed down the most severe sentences.


Sabri Uzun was acquitted in the trial; the files of the other defendants considered fugitives in the case were separated.


In the aftermath of the 15 July coup attempt


There had not been an effective investigation against the gendarmerie officers before. In Trabzon, seven people, including Colonel Ali Öz, the then Trabzon Provincial Gendarmerie Regiment Commander, were being prosecuted on the allegations of "negligence" and "forgery of official documents by a public official." However, after the failed coup attempt of 15 July 2016, an operation was launched against the officials of the provincial gendarmerie commands in Istanbul and Trabzon as part of the investigation into the Dink assassination. A number of gendarmerie officers, also mentioned in the investigation into the Dink murder, had been arrested on the grounds of participating in the coup attempt.


After the coup attempt, more than 30 gendarmerie officers, including senior officials, were arrested, and 15 gendarmerie officers were jailed pending trial for their alleged involvement in the Dink murder.


While a lawsuit was yet to be filed in the investigation against the gendarmerie officers as regards to the Dink murder, the indictments concerning the coup investigations began to cite the Dink murder. The indictments into the 15 July coup attempt described the Dink murder as “the first armed attack of the FETÖ on the road to the coup.”


On 10 May 2017, an indictment was issued against 50 people, including officers from the Istanbul Provincial Gendarmerie Command, the Trabzon Provincial Gendarmerie Command, the Samsun Police Department and the Samsun Provincial Gendarmerie Command, and was sent to the Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court, which oversaw the trial. Thus, the officers of the provincial gendarmerie commands in Istanbul and Trabzon also became defendants in the case.


The Trabzon Gendarmerie


One of the more important pillars of the trial process was the position of the then gendarmerie officers in Istanbul and Trabzon. Provincial Regiment Commander Colonel Ali Öz; Gendarmerie Intelligence officers Metin Yıldız, Veysal Şahin, Okan Şimşek, Gazi Günay, Volkan Şahin, Ergün Yorulmaz, Önder Aras, Hüseyin Yılmaz and Cevat Eser; Provincial Gendarmerie Command officers Ahmet Faruk Aydoğdu, Ünsal Gürel and Resul Kütükoğlu stood trial in the case.


Like the police department, the Trabzon Gendarmerie was informed of the murder plot in advance. Although it was not done officially, Coşkun İğci, the brother-in-law of the instigator Yasin Hayal, was giving information to the gendarmerie intelligence officers, whom he claimed to be his friends. In July 2006, İğci had informed the Trabzon Gendarmerie Intelligence officers Okan Şimşek and Veysal Şahin that Hayal was in search of procuring illegal weapons. Both gendarmerie officers claimed to have passed on this information to their superior, Metin Yıldız, who, in turn, stated that he had conveyed the issue to the Provincial Regiment Commander Ali Öz at their daily meeting on public security, and that Öz had evaded the matter by saying, “We will talk about it later.” In response to the questions about whether he had been briefed on the subject at hearings, Öz said, “I don’t remember.”


The Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court sentenced Ali Öz to 28 years in prison. The court also sentenced Veysal Şahin, Gazi Günay and Okan Şimşek, the officials who received the intelligence, to 25 years in prison each on the charge of intentional killing by an act of omission and an additional 3 years and 4 months in prison each for forgery of official documents.


The Istanbul Gendarmerie


Officers from the Istanbul Provincial Gendarmerie Command were also involved in the case. It was claimed that nine officers from the Istanbul Gendarmerie at the time were at the crime scene, and that there had been a preliminary reconnaissance of the site around Dink's place of residence in Bakırköy five months prior to the killing. Gendarmerie officers repeatedly denied the allegations that they had been at the crime scene or that they had reconnoitered the site around Dink's house.


Muharrem Demirkale, who was the superior of the Istanbul Gendarmerie officers at the time, was handed down a life imprisonment sentence on the charges of aiding intentional killing by act of omission and attempting to overthrow the constitutional order. Demirkale is also the defendant in several other cases where he is prosecuted for the 15 July coup attempt.


One of the Istanbul Gendarmerie Intelligence officers identified the Istanbul Gendarmerie Intelligence officer Yavuz Karakaya in the crime scene footage. In his statement about the public officials allegedly involved in the killing, the gunman Ogün Samast said that Karakaya and the accompanying officers took a video at the crime scene and the footage was then shown to him when he was arrested in Samsun. Karakaya, who was caught as he was clashing on the side of the soldiers who allegedly attempted the coup on the night of 15 July, denied all the allegations. Karakaya was sentenced to life imprisonment on the charge of attempting to overthrow the constitutional order and an additional 12 years in prison on the charge of aiding intentional killing by act of omission.


Other officials of the Istanbul Gendarmerie were acquitted of the charges concerned.


The Samsun Police and Gendarmerie officers and Ercan Gün


Ogün Samast was arrested at Samsun Bus Station in a joint operation organized by the Samsun Police and Gendarmerie officers, while he was returning by bus to Trabzon, his hometown, after the murder. It was revealed that the photos that appeared to show Ogün Samast with a Turkish flag in front of an inscription that reads, "The homeland is sacred. It cannot be left to its fate," was taken at the Samsun Police Department, and that there was also video footage of the incident besides the image known to the public up until then. Seven police and gendarmerie officers in Samsun were prosecuted. They were all acquitted.


The first journalist to publish the footage in question was Ercan Gün, a former reporter for Zaman newspaper, who was working for the TV station TGRT at the time. In his defense statement, Ercan Gün said that he was being prosecuted for his reporting.


Gün stated: "Photos of Ogün Samast were shown in other channels. Thinking that these images were stills taken from a video recording, the editor-in-chief instructed all of us to find the video. Later, these videos were sent to numerous broadcasters; and they were delivered to us by cargo. I went to Samsun to finish the story under the instruction of the newsroom. I did not personally write the news report; it was penned by the editorial staff. The statement that the video with the flag was recorded at the gendarmerie headquarters is entirely an editorial mistake; it was corrected and that the video was recorded at the police headquarters was articulated in the news reports the next day. Had the goal been to wear down the gendarmerie, I would have filmed in front of the gendarmerie outpost. How can a journalist overthrow the constitutional order? I only did my job as a journalist.” Recalling that the news segment in question was granted the news of the year award by the Turkish Journalists' Association (TGC) despite the editorial mistake, Gün said: "The fact that I did not ask to benefit from the effective remorse provision was interpreted as an organizational behavior. It is not possible for those who are not members of the organization to benefit from the effective remorse provision. The fact that I worked for Zaman newspaper until 2006 is interpreted as an indication of membership in the organization."


At the end of the trial, Ercan Gün was sentenced to 10 years in prison on the charge of "membership in an armed terrorist organization."


Nine defendants whose files were separated


The judgment concerning nine defendants whose files were separated from the main case, including Erhan Tuncel, Yasin Hayal and Ogün Samast, was announced in August 2019.


In this case, the Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court sentenced Erhan Tuncel to 99 years and 6 months in prison, Yasin Hayal to an additional 7 years and 6 months in prison, Ogün Samast to an additional 2 years and 6 months in prison. After the ruling, Erhan Tuncel was arrested and sent to prison. Two other defendants were acquitted while four others were sentenced to various prison terms in the final hearing.


Can we trail the crumbs back to the bakery?


The main trial, which concluded on 26 March 2021, failed to satisfy the demands for justice and an effective investigation into the murder of Hrant Dink. Commenting on the court's judgment after the final hearing, Hakan Bakırcıoğlu, a lawyer for the Dink family, stated that the trial process failed to concretely disclose the masterminds behind the murder decision and the way in which that decision was implemented, noting that those who organized the lynching campaign against Hrant Dink were not indicted, and that there was never an indictment against a significant number of the public officials who had participated in and had been culpable of the murder plot.


According to Bakırcıoğlu, the court's decision bore a noteworthy resemblance to the ruling in 2012 by the Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court, which was subsequently overturned by the Supreme Court of Appeals, in that they both failed to reveal all the aspects of Dink's murder and render a verdict on those culpable of the murder.


Lawyers for the Dink family have appealed the Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court’s latest judgment. In case their appeal is accepted, it can lead to a retrial. It remains to be seen how many more years it will take for the crumbs we have at hand to lead us all the way to the bakery.