Dink murder trial begins with tension

ISTANBUL - More than one thousand people gathered outside an Istanbul courthouse calling for justice as the first hearing of the trial of 18 persons accused of involvement in the murder of prominent Turkish-Armenia journalist Hrant Dink murder opened.

There was tension as the lawyer of some of the defendants, Fuat Turgut, entered the court, facing demonstrators who were chanting “We are all Hrants.”

Turgut said that the protestors were all Armenians while the crowd responded saying that he was a provocateur.

There was also tension in court room as Dink’s widow and daughters walked in and were applauded, Turgut responded by claiming that they were holders of Armenian passports. Umit Abanoz, a lawyer for the Dink family, walked over to Turgut and told him to take of his robe as he was a provocateur.

Dink was gunned down on January 19 this year outside the office of the Argos newspaper, which he founded and was chief editor.

The court hearing was closed to public as alleged murderer, identified as O.S., is underage.

The prosecution has asked for up to 24 years jail term for O.S. and life sentences for the alleged master minds of the murder.

Around 500 lawyers representing the Dink family attended the first day of the trial, saying they wanted to ensure justice was done.