Hrant Dink's Killers Admit Ties to Murder of Turkish Priest

Police are now investigating links between the murder of Hrant Dink and the murder of Fr. Santaro last year during the Muhammed cartoon riots.
Hurriyet reports:

While investigating the murder of Hrant Dink, the police have also apparently stumbled upon important clues to last year’s murder of the Italian priest, Andrea Santoro, which took place in Trabzon. Some of the suspects in Dink’s murder have admitted to links to Santoro’s killer.

Today, Yasin Hayal screamed out death threats to another Turkish writer as he was brought into court. Yasin yelled, “Orhan Pamuk needs to wise up, he needs to wise up!” as police dragged him into the court building.

Yasin Hayal (C), a nationalist militant accused of inciting the killing of the Turkish-Armenian editor Hrant Dink, shouts at members of the media as he is brought to court by Turkish police officers in Istanbul January 24, 2007. (REUTERS)

Panarmenian News is reporting that they are looking at a connection between the murder of Dink and that of Italian Catholic priest Father Santaro, murdered last year by a young radical Muslim who screamed “Allah Akbar” (God is great) as he shot the kneeling priest twice in the back:

“Yasin told me to shoot Dink. He gave me the gun. So I did,” the teenager said. Turkish newspapers described Hayal, who is also in police custody, as an “older brother” figure who frequently met youngsters in the area and influenced them with his ultranationalist views. Hurriyet said Samast, an unemployed secondary school graduate, was among 10 youths aged 15 to 17 whom Hayal had last year trained to handle and shoot small arms in order to assassinate Dink. “I was chosen because I was the best shot and the fastest runner,” Samast told the police. His mother, Havva Samast, said Monday that she believed her son was a mere tool.

Samast’s testimony turned the spotlight on Trabzon, a Black Sea port of one million and a hot-bed of nationalism, which hit the headlines in February 2006 with the murder of an Italian Catholic priest by a 16-year-old boy. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday that police would look into possible links between Dink’s killing and that of the priest, report Turkish media.

Another suspect, Erhan Tuncel, was taken into custody today. reported:

In regards to the Dink murder, university student Erhan Tuncel (pictured) has been taken into custody and is claimed to have directed suspect Ogün Samast and Yasin Hayal. Tuncel made them watch a CD of Chechnya.

The police, who first started with the statements of Yasin Hayal, who claimed to have solicited the murder of Hrant Dink, have now taken Erhan Tuncel, a university student in Trabzon, into custody. A green Bible was found in Tuncel’s house(?) It was claimed that Tuncel is registered in Keban Elazığ is a volunteering body guard of Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu, the chairman of the Grand Unity Party (HERE is a video of Yazicioglu if anyone can make sense of it). Tuncel’s questioning is still ongoing.

Police Capture Killer of Turkish-Armenian Writer Hrant Dink
Hrant Dink Killers Trained in Chechnya; Belonged to Islamic Order
Turkish Official: CIA and Mossad Behind Hrant Dink Murder

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