ISTANBUL – TDN with wire dispatches
Ramazan Akyürek, head of the Istanbul Police Department's intelligence unit, stands accused of misleading officials investigating the department on charges of negligence following the murder of prominent Turkish Armenian journalist, Hrant Dink, a newspaper reported yesterday.
Allegedly, Inspector Şükrü Yıldız, during his examination of the Istanbul Police Department, asked whether police had responded following notification from the Trabzon Police Department on Feb. 17, 2006 that Yasin Hayal, now one of the murder suspects, had planned to kill Dink, daily Milliyet reported. In that notification, the Istanbul Police Department was also told of Hayal's plans to come to Istanbul and stay at his brother's home.
The intelligence unit of the Istanbul Police Department replied, in March, that it had taken no action regarding this notification. In his report, Yıldız further stated that the Istanbul Police Department only carried out its first examination of computer records of Hayal's brother, Osman Hayal, three days after Dink was murdered, concluding that the police had neglected their duty.
However, another investigation was initiated after police officials objected to Yıldız's report. Inspector Akif İkbal then found that the first computer record by Istanbul police, about the notification from the Trabzon police, was made Feb. 20, 2006. İkbal, in his report, stated that the answer provided by the intelligence unit of the Istanbul Police Department had misled Yıldız. Akyürek was reported to have placed his signature under the answer sent to Yıldız.
Akyürek was the police chief in the Black Sea province of Trabzon between 2004 and 2006, during which time major crimes occurred in the city including the murder of Catholic priest, Andreas Santoro, by a teenager and the bombing of a McDonalds restaurant by Hayal. It is further reported that Akyürek had used Erhan Tuncel, another suspect in Dink's murder, to supply his department with information.