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Turkish questions

Wednesday 7 February 2007, by Emre Uslu, Onder Aytaç

Source : TNA

Since the Hrant Dink assassination the media has demonstrated a deliberate effort to show the police as having some level of involvement in the murder. In fact, a media report revealed that police informant Erhan Tuncel had shared some information about a possible assassination with police, yet they failed to prevent it.

The media, rightly so, focuses on the “informant” connection and attempts to uncover a shadowy involvement by the police. This is a nice aspect of democracy: the media’ investigations put pressure on state institutions to act according to the rule of law. For this very reason, we are deeply thankful for the media pressure on the police to reveal the truth.

However, the Turkish media is constrained by many factors; either prejudices built into editors’ minds, or the immense pressures of an “invisible power” put the media in an awkward position. For instance, while Sabah is playing a proactive role to reveal the wrongdoings of the police, which we appreciate, we are reminded that during the operations against the Atabeyler gang, its editors and commentators manipulated basic facts.

Influential Sabah columnist Ergun Babahan rightly asked a question regarding a “poster” depicting Dink’s murderer — a picture taken in front of the Turkish flag on which there is also Ataturk’s words: “The Turkish land is a holy land; hence it needs to be protected.” Yet perhaps because Mr. Babahan learned the truth, the photographer is an untouchable, he zipped his mouth and scaled down his criticism of the police. Mr. Babahan’s attitude is disappointing because he is one of the few journalists courageous enough to criticize all wrongdoing institutions. Yet, for whatever reason, he preferred to stop questioning in this case. “Who shot the picture? We wonder why?” Mr. Babahan ended one of his columns sarcastically saying, “O invisible photographer, come up when I say ’apple,’ don’t appear when I say ’orange’.” We ask Mr. Babahan why he can’t say “apple” now! Is it because the “apple” dropped on his head, and he suddenly discovered the “law of gravity” on that photo?

Here we need to raise further questions that you may not hear from embedded journalists:

- Where had Yasin Hayal, the mastermind of the Dink assassination, been residing?

- Did security agencies in Hayal’s area of residence do a background check on his Chechnya adventure ? Why did he go there, and what did he do? Did he receive training in making bombs ? Or, did he receive formal training on bombs in any security institution? Does he have a “certificate” for that ? Was there an attempt to bomb the Russian Embassy by people connected to Chechnya, and where are they now? Do they have some kind of connection with Yasin Hayal ? The media reported that Ogun Samast, the murderer of Hrant Dink, was caught on the way to escape to Russia, perhaps to Chechnya. Where was he going, and who was behind him ? Just Yasin Hayal ? Why has the media stopped investigating this aspect ?

- Who’s behind the anti-Kurdish incidents in the Black Sea region? Are the people agitating the anti-Kurdish feelings of the inhabitants benefiting from what they’re doing?

- Most importantly, is anybody outside the investigative circle trying to influence the case? Are the police being pressured to change the nature of the Dink investigation? Who are they? Is it somehow related with Hayal’s “deep” connections, which helped him to go Chechnya or Azerbaijan?

- Are there any plans to sow chaos or attempts for the next five to six months? If so, who’s behind these plans, and why? What is the relationship between these plans and the associations of the people involved in the Dink assassination? What does the “We are all Turks” graffiti around the country tell us? Who’s behind these attempts at agitation?

There are many more questions to ask, but no matter what you ask and how you answer, all answers point in one direction. A group of people are now attempting to sneak into a nationalist political party and create chaos in this country. Unfortunately, people who are holding key positions are either unaware of the fact, or ignore this looming danger because of their cupidity.

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