COURT REJECTS CONTROVERSIAL POLICE OFFICER'S REMOVAL OVER NEGLIGENCE IN DINK'S MURDER

Hurriyet Daily News , Turkey
Jan 30 2014

Fevzi KIZILKOYUNANKARA - Hurriyet

Ramazan Akyurek was removed from his position right after the Dec. 17
corruption and graft operation, along with hundreds of other senior
police officers.

An Ankara court rejected the dismissal of Ramazan Akyurek, the head
of Inspection Board in the Police Department.

The Interior Ministry defended its decision on the basis that the
police officer in question tarnished the image and credibility of
the police department over his negligence on Hrant Dink's murder.

Akyurek was removed from his position right after the Dec. 17
corruption and graft operation, along with hundreds of other senior
police officers.

The Ankara 16th Administrative Court suspended the execution upon
Akyurek's appeal. The Interior Ministry defended its decision in a
statement to the court that, "allegations about him detracted the
police department's credibility and image." The ministry also said,
"The appointment of such a controversial police officer to the head
of Inspection Board was hurting public conscious."

But the court challenged the ministry's defense and recalled that
Akyurek received two promotions in the aftermath of Dink's murder and
said, "As such allegations were not seen as obstacle before giving a
promotion to him, they cannot be shown as a reason for his dismissal
either."

In its reasoning, the court recalled that Akyurek was first appointed
as the head of the Department of Strategy Development and then as the
head of the Inspection Board in the Police Department Headquarters,
emphasizing allegations about him have never been proven.

Ramazan Akyurek served as the head of the police in the Black Sea
province of Trabzon between Dec. 2003 and May 2006, whereas Father
Andrea Santoro was murdered on Feb. 2006. Officer Akyurek then served
as the head of Police Intelligence between May 2006 and Oct. 2009,
during which time Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was also
murdered in Jan. 2007.

Erhan Tuncel, a former police informant in Trabzon, said he had warned
the local police about Dink's murder in 2007. It subsequently came
to light, however, that Ramazan Akyurek, the chief of the Trabzon
police at the time, had conveyed only one out of 11 notices to the
Istanbul Police Department.

The Interior Ministry discharged Akyurek from his post in relation
to those accusations in October and appointed him as an expert to the
Department of Strategy Development. Hrant Dink, the former chief editor
of the weekly Agos, a paper published in both Armenian and Turkish,
was shot to death in front of his office on Jan. 19, 2007.

January/30/2014

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