Europe

Turkey 'failed to protect' slain journalist Hrant Dink

Archive photo of Hrant Dink in Istanbul, November 2006
Image caption Hrant Dink was one of the most prominent voices in the Turkish-Armenian community

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Turkey failed to protect the life of journalist Hrant Dink, who was murdered in 2007.

Turkish authorities were warned that ultra-nationalists were plotting to kill Dink, but failed to act, it said.

Dink, editor of a Turkish-Armenian newspaper, had been prosecuted for allegedly denigrating "Turkishness".

The European court ordered Turkey to pay Dink's family 105,000 euros (£88,000) in compensation.

"The court took the view that the Turkish security forces could reasonably be considered to have been aware of the intense hostility towards Hrant Dink in nationalist circles," the ruling said.

"None of the three authorities informed of the planned assassination and its imminent realisation had taken action to prevent it."

Dink was shot in the head three times near the office of his newspaper, Agos, in Istanbul.

In 2005, the journalist had been handed a six-month suspended prison sentence after he was accused of denigrating "Turkishness" in writings about the mass killings of Armenians during World War I.

Dink had angered nationalists with his appeals for Turkey to recognise its role in the killings.

Turkey has resisted widespread calls for it to recognise the 1915-16 killings as genocide.

In its ruling on Tuesday, the European Court of Human Rights also found that Turkey had failed to protect Dink's freedom of speech.

The main suspect in Dink's murder is on trial along with 18 suspected accomplices.

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