This post has been updated TWICE.
It is satisfying that after five years of courtroom anguish (click here) after the assassination of the Armenian Turkish journalist Hrant Dink, that his killer, Ogun Samast, be given 23 years in prison and the man who instigated the youth to pull the trigger, Yasin Hayal, be given a life sentence. What was not addressed was evidence that the gendarmerie had known about the assassination plans in advance and did nothing to prevent it (indeed the police upon arresting Samast had chummy photos taken with Samast in front of a Turkish flag and a nationalist slogan). Throughout the trial, evidence (files, videos) kept disappearing. Given the government and judiciary system’s rabid interest in tracking down plots in every corner of society, and given the high profile nature of this case and its importance in convincing observers that Turkey is serious about protecting its Christian minority, as PM Erdogan claimed in Cairo recently, one would think that such egregious abuse of the judicial process would result in more than just a few slaps on the hand of the officials involved. (click here, in Turkish) Click here for an English-language account of the ruling.
According to the newspapers, more than ten thousand people marched silently through Istanbul’s streets to converge at Dink’s Agos newspaper office to protest the ruling. The banner says “We are all Hrant. We are all Armenian.” Click here. Even the head of the panel of judges responsible for the ruling said he was dissatisfied with it, but that there needed to be evidence for collusion and that they did not have the time to go through all the thousands of phone records in the area around the time of the murder.