Witnesses take the stand in Hrant Dink trial


İSTANBUL - The witnesses have taken the stand in the Hrant Dink murder trial. It was noteworthy that one of the witnesses, Ünal Karaosmanoğlu, İstanbul Provincial Gendarmerie Regiment Commander by the time Dink was assasinated used the definition of “a Turkish citizen journalist” for the Armenian journalist.

The hearing of the trial opened against the public officers regarding the assassination of Hrant Dink, the Editor-in-Chief of Agos, a bilingual Turkish-Armenian newspaper, continued on the second day of the 14th Assize Court in Çağlayan, İstanbul. 
İstanbul Provincial Gendarmerie Regiment Commander Ünal Karaosmanoğlu and Gendarmerie Command Intelligence Branch Manager Aycan Oktaylar took the stand in the court as witnesses. Both witnesses claimed that there was no intelligence that an assassination act was being planned targeting Dink. The trial continued with the testimonies of the rest of the two witnesses Saittin Bölükbaşı and Güven Şahin. The court postponed the hearing to Thursday.
Emphasizing the “reputation of the country” Karaosmanoğlu said, "My country lost reputation after this murder. I condemn the killing of a Turkish citizen journalist, this is unacceptable. I and the intelligence learned about who Dink was from the newspapers after he was killed. We were un duty without no ethnic-religious segregation."
Turkish media carried the images of the assassin of Dink posing proudly with a Turkish flag together with police officers. The photo caused consternation and reaction as commentators warned it was another sign of the growing power of Turkish ultra-nationalism. "We are all Armenians," has been the slogan of the supporters and friends of Dink, who thronged the streets of Istanbul at the funeral of the murdered journalist and have still been following the ongoing search of justice for Dink.
Aycan Oktaylar, Gendarmerie Command Intelligence Branch Manager of that period, claimed, "There was absolutely no intelligence of the incident. We heard the news of the incident on TV. We made some phone calls about who the victim was because it caused an outrage in public. We did not have the slightest intelligence before the incident. We contacted the police to get information. "

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