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Ankara: Murder Of An Armenian Turkish Soldier Accidentally On Purpos

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  • Ankara: Murder Of An Armenian Turkish Soldier Accidentally On Purpos


    Today's Zaman, Turkey
    March 28 2013

    On March 26 the Diyarbakır Military Court delivered its judgment on
    the killing of Armenian Turkish soldier Sevag Balıkcı and gave the
    suspect, Kıvanc Agaoglu, a sentence of four years, five months for
    committing murder by "conscious negligence." This means that the court
    came to the conclusion that the murder was not committed on purpose.

    There are so many elements in this "consciously neglected" murder that
    would make any reasonable observer quite suspicious as to whether or
    not there was really no "intention" on the part of the suspect.

    I am just writing down some simple facts about the case:

    1-The murder took place on April 24, 2011, namely on the day that marks
    the beginning of a long chain of Armenian massacres in 1915 in Turkey.

    2-The victim is a Turkish citizen of Armenian descent. Everyone
    in his battalion had known that he was an Armenian since this was
    unmistakably obvious with his Armenian name, Sevag.

    3-The murderer is a Turkish ultranationalist who was doing his
    mandatory military service like conscripted private Balıkcı himself.

    According to court file documents his Facebook profile showed that he
    was a Grand Unity Party (BBP) sympathizer. As you probably may know,
    Hrant Dink's murderer was also connected to this party's youth group.

    4-The murder was committed with a G3 rifle. There is no dispute that
    Agaoglu pointed his rifle at Sevag. He says this was a joke and what
    happened after was on accident. You have to switch off this rifle's
    safety lock and pull the trigger in order to fire it. Even if he
    pointed his gun as a joke, how did the rest transpire?

    5-All the witnesses to the incident were conscripted privates like
    Balıkcı and his murderer. There is evidence showing that all
    witnesses were summoned by some high-ranking military personnel and
    that they were said to have given their testimonies carefully since
    their statements could put their friend in a difficult position, giving
    the "wrong" impression that Balıkcı was killed on purpose. Again
    we understood from the court file that all witnesses were contacted
    by the family members of the murderer for the same purpose, namely
    to encourage them to give "factual" testimony.

    The court's conclusion may be true for technical legal reasons. If
    you do not have proof that shows the intent of the murderer beyond
    a reasonable doubt, you cannot say that it was an intentional murder.

    The witnesses' testimonies, which were given under circumstances
    that I tried to describe briefly above, do not prove that the murder
    was intentional.

    However, in our hearts, given all these elements I mentioned above,
    this is just another murder that was committed out of hatred. The
    history of this country, all this amnesia and denial, all this
    institutional racism and all this hatred out there create a kind of
    unfortunate presumption of "intent" whenever an Armenian is killed
    under any suspicious circumstances. I wish I were able to believe that
    this murder was committed through negligence. But all I believe is
    this: Unless Turkey fully confronts its past, we may witness so many
    other "negligently" killed Armenians in Turkey. After all, isn't it the
    official narrative that hundreds of thousands of Armenians died in 1915
    because of "unfavorable" conditions that they were "unintentionally"
    exposed to? The killings happened accidently by negligence, and we
    do not remember anything about how these things happened!