Prosecutors formally filed charges against Fetullah Gülen, leader of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), yesterday in a case involving the murder of the prominent Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink.
This is the first time that Gülen, along with a fugitive prosecutor linked to the group, have officially been confirmed as suspects in the case, whose cover up has long been blamed on FETÖ-linked officials.
Dink was killed in 2007 outside the offices of Agos weekly in Istanbul where he served as editor-in-chief. An ultranationalist teenager was charged with the murder. After repeated pleas by the slain journalist's family, a new investigation was opened which found that the instigators of the murder and several former police chiefs were accused of covering up intelligence that led to the murder. The imprisoned police chiefs are all linked to FETÖ, which allegedly sought to use the murder for its own purposes, namely to incite ethnic tensions. The group's goal of a reshuffle in the police department would have facilitated the planting of its own infiltrators who could then associate the murder with a gang its infiltrators in the judiciary and police had created and designed to imprison critics of Gülen.
This third indictment in the case released yesterday is the culmination of what media outlets dubbed as the most comprehensive probe into FETÖ's role in the case. The case was already tainted with allegations of cover ups, since it was handled by prosecutors linked to the terrorist group. Fifty-one suspects, including eight who are at large, face life imprisonment and lesser charges for terror-related crimes. Gülen, already indicted in multiple trials related to the July 15 coup attempt blamed on a FETÖ-linked military junta, is also accused of being an "accessory to murder." The indictment now awaits approval by a court in Istanbul, which is already trying former police chiefs and other public officials for neglecting intelligence tip offs about the murder and the cover up of suspected FETÖ links to the murder.