TURKEY

Turkish court orders re-arrest of Dink murder suspects

An Istanbul court on Friday accepted prosecutors' appeal for the re-arrest of two suspects in the 2007 murder of Hrant Dink, a prominent Armenian-Turkish journalist.

Following the suspects' conditional release on Thursday, prosecutors asked the court to have them re-arrested, and the 15th High Criminal Court in Istanbul agreed.

Ercan Gün and Muharrem Demirkale had been released with a ban on leaving the country, while the court ordered the continued detention of Ramazan Akyürek and Ali Fuat Yiımazer.

Other suspects in the case include U.S.-based Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) leader Fetullah Gulen, FETO-linked former prosecutor Zekeriya Öz, former Zaman daily Editor-in-Chief Ekrem Dumanli, and journalists Adem Yavuz Arslan and Faruk Mercan.

They are all charged with premeditated murder and attempting to overthrow the constitutional order.

Dink, the editor-in-chief of Armenian-Turkish newspaper Agos, was killed outside his office on Jan. 19, 2007.

In 2011, Ogün Samast was sentenced to 23 years in prison for the killing. Samast, who was 17 years old in early 2007, claimed he killed Dink for "insulting Turkishness."

Although Samast is the only person to be jailed for the murder, speculation on the involvement of others has persisted.

Last year, FETO -- which plotted the defeated coup of July 15, 2016 in Turkey, leaving 251 people martyred -- was officially tied to the case.

A 120-page indictment said soldiers and police involved in the Dink murder later played an active role in the defeated coup.

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