Hrant Dink’s Assassin Sentenced To 23 Years In Jail

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A Turkish ultranationalist was sentenced to 23 years in prison on Monday after being convicted of assassinating prominent ethnic Armenian journalist Hrant Dink in Istanbul in 2007. A juvenile court in Turkey initially handed a life sentence to Ogun Samast, 21, but then reduced it because he was a minor at the time of the crime committed in broad daylight.Ever since his arrest in January 2007, Samast has admitted shooting and killing Dink outside the Istanbul offices of the latter’s bilingual newspaper “Agos.

”Dink was hated by hardline Turkish nationalists for openly describing the 1915 mass killings and deportations of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as genocide. Six months before his death, he was given a suspended six-month sentence for “insulting Turkishness” in an article on what remains a highly sensitive subject in Turkey. Turkey -- Gendarme officers escort the suspect Ogun Samast (C), in the killing of Turkish-Armenian editor Hrant Dink, from a court after his trial hearing in Istanbul, 07Jul2008 Dink’s murder sent shockwaves through Turkey and Armenia and caused strong international condemnation. In an unprecedented outpouring of sympathy, tens of thousands of Turks took part in his funeral.News reports said Samast blamed Turkish newspapers for his decision to kill the 52-year-old “Agos” editor. “How did I hear about ‘Agos,’ about Hrant Dink, about him being a traitor? It was all in the columns of ‘Hurriyet’ and ‘Vatan,” the AFP news agency quoted him as saying in his final court statement on Monday.

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