March 19, 2012 - 16:20 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - A police officer who appeared in a highly controversial a photograph with the killer of Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink has been promoted, Today’s Zaman reported.
The photograph, released to the media shortly after the murder showed Ogün Samast - the shooter - standing next to then-Samsun Police Department's Public Security Unit head Yakup Kurtaran and a soldier with a Turkish flag in the background. The image was allegedly taken at the Samsun Police Department where Samast was captured before being brought to Istanbul. While many were expecting the office to face charges or disciplinary action for the controversial photograph, Kurtaran reportedly has advanced in his career since then.
According to the Radikal daily, after the photograph surfaced, Kurtaran and a group of police officers were suspended from duty on Feb 5, 2007. Although police inspectors proposed a punishment of suspending severance pay for Kurtaran for 16 months, the officer simply received a forfeiture of pay for one day. However, this was later cancelled after Kurtaran appealed the punishment at the Samsun 1st Administrative Court.
Kurtaran was reassigned to Amasya and then to Malatya Police Department's Traffic Services Unit. After he worked for a while in the traffic services department, Kurtaran was appointed fourth degree superintendent, then second degree superintendent. He was most recently promoted to the office of deputy chief of the Malatya Police Department in 2012.
While security officials who posed for the photos with the Samast faced no charges or disciplinary action, those who leaked the photograph to the Turkish media reportedly face an official investigation on charges of leaking secret documents to the public. A recent report prepared by the State Audit Institution (DDK) regarding the Dink murder also mentioned the controversial photograph. The report termed the incident a product of “marginal insights.”
The late editor-in-chief of the Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos, Dink was shot dead on Jan 19, 2007 by Samast outside the offices of his newspaper in Istanbul in broad daylight. In July of last year, his killer was sentenced to nearly 23 years in jail. Samast, tried in juvenile court because he was a minor at the time of the crime, was sentenced by the court to 21 years, six months for “premeditated murder” and one year, four months for carrying an unlicensed gun.