Constitutional Court rejects investigation appeal by family of slain journalist Dink

Turkey’s Constitutional Court on Thursday rejected an appeal by the family of assassinated journalist Hrant Dink demanding effective investigation into his killing, Armenian newspaper Agos reported.

The decision came after another court dismissed legal proceedings against various suspects, Agos said.

The slain journalist was outspoken on the issue of the Armenian genocide, which the Turkish state denies, and was prosecuted three times for violating Article 301 of the Turkish penal code, which makes it a crime to insult Turkishness, the Turkish nation or Turkish institutions.

He was shot dead outside the Istanbul offices of the bilingual Turkish–Armenian newspaper Agos, where he was editor-in-chief, on Jan. 19, 2007.

In 2016, Dink's family lodged an appeal with the Constitutional Court after an Istanbul criminal court dismissed legal proceedings against 24 suspects, including retired general Veli Küçük, former vice governor of Istanbul Ergun Güngör and retired National Intelligence Organisation (MİT) official Özel Yılmaz.

Several of those suspects had been caught up in notorious political trials of alleged members of Turkey’s deep state. The officers were accused of allowing the assassination to go ahead in order to further their own political agenda. The trials later collapsed after judges and prosecutors running them were themselves accused of using their positions to pursue a secret agenda.

The Constitutional Court, Turkey’s highest legal body, rejected the application on the grounds that legal remedies have not been exhausted and Dink's assassination trial is still ongoing, according to Agos.

Dink's family is planning to apply to the European Court of Human Rights, the Armenian weekly said.

Dink’s murder quickly came to symbolise the rising wave of nationalism in Turkish society, a war against freedom of expression and the complacency of Turkey’s intellectuals.