Turkey: Teenager confesses to journalist's killing

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January 22, 2007 02:27




A Turkish teenager has confessed to the killing of an ethnic Armenian journalist, a chief prosecutor said, two days after the daylight shooting in the capital stunned the nation. Nine other suspects were reported detained. The slaying of Hrant Dink outside his newspaper's office has drawn attention to the precarious state of freedom of expression in a country that is vying for European Union membership. Most Turks have assumed that the 52-year-old Dink, editor of the Turkish-Armenian newspaper Agos, was targeted because of his public statements calling the killing of Armenians by Turks in the early 20th century genocide. Nationalists consider such statements an insult to Turkey's honor and a threat to its unity, and Dink had been showered with insults and threats. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday that the swift capture of the teenager was "a lesson to those who want to shoot at freedoms" in Turkey. He promised a thorough investigation and, without naming them outright, appeared to blame the slaying on nationalist groups, which he said were intent on turning Turkey into an insular country, cut off from the rest of the world.


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