A massive security operation has been coordinated in Istanbul, as the chief suspect in the murder of Turkish Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was taken to court. 17-year-old Ogun Samast has confessed to the assassination of Dink last friday, according to Istanbul’s police commander. Local newspapers quoted Samast as saying he had no regrets about shooting Dink. He believed the journalist, a prominent spokesman for the country’s Armenian christian minority, had insulted Turkey in a recent appearance on television.
Following yesterday’s huge funeral for Hrant Dink attended by at least 100,000 mourners, there are renewed calls for a change in Turkey’s penal code. Commentators say the controversial “Article 301”, which criminalizes insults to Turkey’s identity, contributes to an atmosphere of intimidation in the country.