Turkish Council of State sentences Ministry of Interior to TRY 1.66 million in damages to family of murdered Armenian journalist Hrant Dink

ISTANBUL – In the case of editor-in-chief of Armenian Agos Newspaper Hrant Dink, murdered in Istanbul on January 19, 2007, the Turkish Council of State upheld a lower court order for the Ministry of Interior to pay TRY 1.66 million, almost USD 185.000, in damages to the family of Dink for serious “service faults”.

Wife Rachel Dink and children had filed a lawsuit for material and moral damages of TRY 1.5 million lira against the Ministry of Interior on the grounds that there were “service faults” in the murder. Istanbul’s sixth Administrative Court had decided that Hrant Dink had been and was a target because of articles published in Agos Newspaper, which provoked violent reactions in ultra-nationalist circles, and that his life was in clear and immediate danger. Protective measures must have been taken and authorities should not have waited for his request for protection.

The court decided that there was no room for doubt that serious security mistakes were made and that the Ministry of Interior held responsibility in the murder. The court unanimously decided to accept the claim for compensation of TRY 466.000 for material and TRY 1 million for non-pecuniary damages emotional harm.

The defendant Ministry of Interior appealed the court order with the Council of State, but the latters’s 10th Chamber unanimously upheld the lower court’s decision.