Yetvart Danzikyan


What does the footage say?

At the beginning of this week, some footage related to Hrant Dink murder was leaked to pro-AKP media organs. These are the security footage of the shops near the crime scene; they were recorded before and on the day of the murder. We can see that officers from gendarmerie intelligence branch scouting around Agos before and on the day of the murder. After this footage was shown on TV, the murder became a matter of debate again. On TV and in newspapers, people began to discuss what this footage means.

I would like to write the short answer before anything else: the footage reveals the fact that the state is the major accomplice to this murder. This is obvious. This is nothing new; we have been saying this since the murder. However, we have to reflect on this footage further. What do this footage and the timing of the leak mean?

For years, the existence of such footage –at least a part of it– has been known. I mean, this is not a brand new footage. It is thought that some part of this footage is included in the case file. However, release of this footage is something new. And there is something else: the people on the footage check out with the phone call records coming from gendarmerie intelligence branch officers before and during the murder. Thus, we should ask this first: Why did the state wait for 9 years for doing something about this critical matter?

I guess AKP circles would say, “We have just discovered Gulenists, that’s why.” Or maybe they would say that Gulenists had been preventing them from doing something about it. Of course these arguments are not convincing. For years, people have been making great efforts to clarify this murder. Dink family, lawyers, human rights defenders, Friends of Hrant who demand justice before every hearing and international circles have been demanding the state clarifies the murder. And there is the “word of honor” given by the government right after the murder.

Despite all, the footage was concealed. It wasn’t dwelled on. The demands have been avoided. Until the war between AKP and Gulenists is escalated (mind you, I don’t say “erupted”). This means that this footage had been concealed for about 8 years. This may be the greatest success of AKP-Gulen partnership.

After the escalation, things changed: AKP wants to pin the murder on Gulenist circle. We say this every time, but I want to say it again: there is no doubt that Gulenists have a hand in the murder. However, is this the whole truth? Should we accept what AKP says unquestioningly? We have to ask these questions, because even AKP doesn’t know how far the purge that was intensified after July 15 will go. And this wind of purge turned into a rush of eliminating the opponents of the state. Even President Erdoğan said that it became almost impossible to make a distinction between innocent and suspected people. (We should note that this purge hit the left wing-dissident circles within universities, bureaucracy and judiciary the hardest. )

Let’s go back to our subject matter: under these circumstances, we have to be careful about some issues. First of all, we should keep in mind that the whole state, with all of its apparatus, was involved in this murder. It seems that the operation against Gulenists is carried out mostly by “the state within”, which is becoming powerful again. And some people, including the members of AKP, who feel uneasy about this process, started to speak up. Thus, just like the operation against Gulenists is extended unpredictably, the operations related to Dink murder might also go beyond its purpose with the possible moves of some circles within the state.

In short, after the footage was released, AKP and pro-AKP media organs started to claim that all of these officers shown in the footage are members of so-called Fethullah terrorist organization. It is possible of course, but we cannot be sure.

However, there are two questions that should be answered: Who did order these officers to be there? And what if all of these officers are not Gulenists? The second question is a critical one. It should be noted again: it is possible that these officers are close to Gulen circle. However, it is also possible that the state is trying to disguise some other elements by accusing them of being Gulenist.

Speaking from experience, this state has the “capacity” to organize such operations. My final question is this: this state has managed to conceal this murder for 9 years because of the reasons unknown to us and what kind of a state does such a thing?