2nd day of hearings: “The intelligence branch wasn't informed of the threats”

As part of Dink case, Ahmet İlhan Güler, who was the chief of Istanbul Security Directorate Intelligence Branch at the time of murder, is answering the questions in the court. He claimed that he wasn't informed of the threats against Hrant Dink. He defined the protests targeting Dink as “democratic protests”.

Dink murder case continues in Istanbul. 

Arrested suspects Ramazan Akyürek and Ogün Samast are present at the second day of hearings.

Standing trial without being under arrest, Celalettin Cerrah, Reşat Altay, Ahmet İlhan Güler and Sabri Uzun are also present. Suspects Şükrü Yıldız, Mehmet Ali Özkılınç, Özkan Mumcu, Tamer Bülent Demirel, Osman Gülbel, Ali Poyraz and Yasin Hayal, who are currently arrested on other charges, are attending the hearing through video call.

Dink family's lawyers Hakan Bakırcıoğlu, Hülya Deveci, Sebu Aslangil, Emel Ataktürk Sevmli, İnci İşbulur, Ayşenur Bahçekapılı and defense lawyers are also present.

We weren't informed of the threats”

Today, the cross examination of Ahmet İlhan Güler, who was the chief of Istanbul Security Directorate Intelligence Branch at the time of murder, is started.

Ahmet İlhan Güler said that the intelligence department of Turkey (MİT) sometimes provides some information to them and occasionally they come together with MİT personnel, but they weren't informed of the threats against Hrant Dink.

Lawyer Bakırcıoğlu asked about the letters that Patriarch Mesrob II had sent to the governor's office and security directorate concerning the threats against the Armenian institutions and also the threats against Dink. Güler said that they hadn't received any information about these matters: “We are not interested in the public information that is accessible by all. Our job is to know the unknown.”

They were democratic protests”

Bakırcıoğlu reminded that Dink was made target and there had been protests in front of Agos newspaper and Şişli Courthouse, where Dink had been tried. Güler said: “In democratic countries, there are democratic protests. Such protests don't necessarily mean that Dink will be murdered. There are no investigation against those protesters, they are not suspects. They didn't kill Dink.”

Güler also spoke about the lack of protection: “Everybody could have received him with open arms, including the governor's office. We could have done it as well, but it would be an unprecedented step. I was obliged to provide information. We hadn't received anything about the threats. We didn't know that his life was at risk.”

The cross examination will continue after the lunch break. After the examination is completed, Celalettin Cerrah, who was the chief of Istanbul Security Directorate at the time murder, will present his defence.

Dink case: what happened in the hearing that was held yesterday?


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Uygar Gültekin