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Turkey: Does Dink Trial Verdict Indicate a Revival of Power Politics in Ankara?

Almost a week after the conclusion of a trial concerning the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, the verdict continues to reverberate in Turkey. It is shaking the faith of minority groups that they can get a fair hearing in the country’s courts and is raising questions among rights activists about the judiciary’s independence. And some political analysts are worrying that the country’s leaders are giving in to anti-democratic tendencies.

In its January 17 ruling, the Turkish court gave a life sentence to one individual, Yasin Hayal, for the 2007 slaying -- the second such conviction in the case -- but acquitted all 19 defendants on trial on the charge of being part of a larger conspiracy in connection with the slaying. Popular shock and outrage over those acquittals was on prominent display January 19, when tens of thousands of Turks, ethnic Armenians and ethnic Kurds marched in Istanbul to commemorate the fifth anniversary of Dink’s death.

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Dorian Jones is a freelance reporter based in Istanbul.

Turkey: Does Dink Trial Verdict Indicate a Revival of Power Politics in Ankara?

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