Daily Sabah, Turkey
Feb 27 2015


Ramazan Akyurek, the former head of the Turkish National Police's
intelligence unit, who is believed to have ties with the Gulen
Movement, was arrested on Friday on the order of an Istanbul court
one day after he was detained as part of an inquiry into the murder
of Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink

Akyurek, who was the police chief in the northern Black Sea city
of Trabzon when Dink was assassinated in 2007 by a Trabzon youth,
was arrested on Friday after he was brought before a court in Istanbul.

Akyurek, who later served as the head of the National Police's
intelligence unit, faces charges of negligence for failure to act
despite knowing that Dink would be murdered by a teenager motivated
by a police informant.

A new investigation into the murder plot has revealed police officers
and prosecutors linked to the shady Gulen Movement engaged in a
cover-up to help the murder suspects.

A mustachioed Akyurek entered the sprawling court complex in
Istanbul's Caglayan district on Friday morning. The police chief,
who loudly denied allegations against him in media outlets and TV
channels linked to the Gulen Movement, was quiet as he was escorted
into the courthouse by police officers. He only muttered to a throng of
journalists that surrounded him "forgive any wrong I've done to you."

He refused to testify at the police station to which he was initially
brought on his lawyers' advice. After a four hour interrogation by
the chief prosecutor, he was referred to the court and the prosecutor
requested judges to order his arrest on charges of committing a
premeditated murder through an act of negligence, forgery in official
documents, gross misconduct for failing to warn authorities about
the murder and for reportedly destroying electronic logs regarding
the murder investigation.

Following a removal of the ban on the investigation of public
officials in relation to the case in June 2014, the investigation
into the murder of Dink - who was shot outside the offices of Agos
daily where he served as editor-in-chief - was renewed. This led to
officials, including the former Istanbul police chief, deputy governor
and other high-ranking officials in the city at the time of the murder,
being summoned for questioning.

The prosecutors also interrogated former police intelligence director
Sabri Uzun and intelligence chiefs Akyurek and Ali Fuat Yılmazer.

The Gulen Movement, which is run by U.S.-based cleric Fethullah
Gulen, is accused of running a "state within a state" through its
infiltrators in the police and judiciary. The movement is reportedly
behind controversial trials that have seen the imprisonment of military
officers, journalists and critics of the group.

An investigation by previous prosecutors who worked on the murder case
revealed that they dismissed allegations about Akyurek and Yılmazer.

Muammer AkkaÅ~_ was the last investigator of the murder who assumed
the case in 2010. AkkaÅ~_, the chief prosecutor in the infamous
Dec. 25 probe that sought to discredit the government by implicating
those close to the government and the Justice and Development Party
(AK Party) with charges of corruption, deliberately stalled the case
according to media reports.

AkkaÅ~_ and other prosecutors did not investigate the allegations
that Akyurek deleted electronic records and telephone logs within the
National Police that would help shed light on the murder, according to
reports in the Turkish media. The prosecutors also did not investigate
similar allegations towards Yılmazer. Security camera footage at the
time of the murder was not properly examined, and the role of police
intelligence officials and gendarmerie officers both in Istanbul and
in the northern province of Trabzon, where the suspects hailed from
and where they allegedly planned the murder, were not investigated.

The prosecutors reportedly did not look into the phone conversation
logs of the suspects well enough to establish their connection with
each other and other likely suspects, and officers at the Istanbul
police department hid evidence regarding the suspects' connections.

The prosecutors are also accused of not investigating contradictions
in the testimonies of the murder suspects.

Sabri Uzun, who was head of the National Police Intelligence
Department, had claimed his subordinates hid tip-offs warning against
the murder of Dink. Questioned about the murder, Uzun said Yılmazer
hid an intelligence report from him regarding a plot to kill Dink.

Yılmazer, who was the predecessor of Akyurek as the head of
the intelligence unit, is currently in prison for a separate case
involving illegal wiretapping, while Akyurek was removed from duty amid
a major reshuffle in Turkish law enforcement last year. Earlier, he was
suspended over allegations of destroying and leaking secret documents
regarding the Dink investigation. Testifying to prosecutors recently,
Akyurek admitted that he was aware of a planned murder regarding
Dink after one of his subordinates presented him an intelligence
report. He told prosecutors he did not remember the details, and
thought that the Istanbul and Trabzon police directorate had "taken
[the] necessary measures."

Ogun Samast, who is currently in an Istanbul prison for Dink's
murder, told prosecutors that the Trabzon police helped him and his
accomplices, and said Yılmazer and Akyurek had knowledge of the plot
in his new testimony last year.

From: A. Papazian