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Turkey accused of double standard as Armenian journalist's killer walks free

Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink's murderer walked free in Turkey Wednesday while the government's critics pointed aghast to political prisoners held years beyond the court's authority to keep them.
YASIN AKGUL/AFP via Getty Images

This is an excerpt from Turkey Briefing, Al-Monitor's weekly newsletter covering the big stories of the week in Turkey. To get Turkey Briefing in your inbox, sign up here.

The assassin of prominent Armenian news editor Hrant Dink was freed late Wednesday for “good conduct” in what critics charge is a further example of the politicization of Turkey’s judiciary under the country’s authoritarian president.

Ogun Samast was released on parole under the terms of an amnesty law passed in July (one that excludes terrorism cases) after spending 16 years and 10 months for the 2007 murder of Dink outside the office of his newspaper, Agos, in Istanbul.

Ozgur Ozel, the newly elected leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party, blasted the move, saying Samast was “supposed to stay for life.” “We have no words. Any who talks about justice after this is truly heartless,” Ozel noted on X.

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