Cerrah: Istanbul Governor knew about the threats, but hadn't informed me

On the 4th day of the hearings of Dink case, Celalettin Cerrah, who was the chief of Istanbul Security Directorate at the time of murder, is presenting his defence.

Arrested suspects Ramazan Akyürek and Ali Fuat Yılmazer, and Celalettin Cerrah, Reşat Altay, Ahmet İlhan Güler and Sabri Uzun are present at the hearing. 

The hitman Ogün Samast is also attending the hearing.

Lawyers of Dink family Hakan Bakırcıoğlu, Sebu Aslangil, Hülya Deveci and defence lawyers are also present.

It is impossible to see each document”

Cerrah said that he is a public servant for 45 years and he has always been working in accordance with laws. He said, “I have been subjected to criticisms and reactions many times, because I always stick to laws.”

He also said that the security directorate receives thousands of documents each day, it is impossible for him to see and evaluate each document. He claimed that he hadn't seen the report that was sent from Trabzon including the information about the murder.

Day of murder

Cerrah spoke about the day of murder as the following:

“I was abroad with the chief of intelligence branch Ahmet İlhan Güler. They called him to inform about the murder. I came to Istanbul five hours after the murder. Selim Kutkan, the chief of count-terrorism branch, welcomed me. I went to the crime scene, where I was informed. I found out that ministers of justice and interior, Ramazan Akyürek and branch chiefs were holding a meeting.”

“I saw that we don't have any evidence, except from a blurry photo captured from security camera footage. We evaluated the situation. In this meeting, Akyürek hadn't talked about the report that was sent to Istanbul. The information concerning the murder was continued to be hidden before and after the murder. I asked Akyürek whether they have any information and he said that they don't. Later, we found out that they have. Since we had only a photo, we decided to disclose it to the press for seeking help from the public.

“We decided to work all night long, but we couldn't have obtain any information. We disclosed the footage to the press. Reşat Altay, chief of Trabzon Security Directorate, called me and revealed the name “Ogün” thanks to the information from his father. I immediately informed the intelligence branch. Meanwhile, Akyürek hadn't provided any information. We received information from the bus terminal. I found out that the bus he took was near Samsun.

“I called the chief of Samsun security directorate. I told him to go there. That day, Ogün was brought to Istanbul. Still there was no information from Akyürek. I told about this to minister of interior and the governor.”

“Then, Muhittin Zenit's name came up (he was an officer from intelligence branch who worked with Erhan Tuncel). He was called to Istanbul, but he didn't come. Because of that, we couldn't have found out the whole truth about the murder; the relation to the gendarmerie forces remained hidden.”

Protection wasn't my duty”

Cerrah answered the allegations in the indictment.

“I am accused of neglect of duty. In the indictment, I am accused of not having protected Dink. Protecting Dink wasn't my duty. The murder was planned in Trabzon. Trabzon intelligence branch sent a report to Istanbul branch, which had done the necessary. This report wasn't presented to me. How could I possibly neglect my duty?”

“It is impossible to provide protection without the request of the person in question. Besides, I didn't have the authority to order protection.”

“Trabzon intelligence branch decided that the information provided by the informant is not reliable and hadn't taken protection measures. If there is any neglect, it is on Trabzon intelligence branch, directorate of intelligence and Istanbul governor's office.”

The governor must have known about the threats”

“Istanbul Governor's Office must have known about the threats. They called Dink and met with him in the governor's office. The governor of the time hadn't informed me. They didn't mentioned the threats during our meetings.”

The hearing will continue with the cross examination.


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Uygar Gültekin