Konya police chief’s career follows high-profile killings in Turkey - report

(Updated with assault claims, protests and CHP reaction)

Engin Dinç, the police chief in Turkey’s central Konya province, is an intelligence officer who faced trial in relation to the murder of Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, chairwoman of the Human Rights Association (İHD) Lawyer Eren Keskin said in a tweet.

“He must resign or be removed from office. He failed to protect even one family,” Keskin said.

Dinç was appointed to his post by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan shortly before seven members of a Kurdish family were shot dead in the province, Mezopotamya news agency reported on Saturday.

Seven members of the Dedeoğlu family were shot dead on Friday. Afterwards the killers set their home in a village in Konya’s Meram district on fire. Members of the family, who were also killed in Friday’s shooting spree, had reported racist abuse from mobs of at least 60 people in the past, most recently in May.

Dinç was one of the first people to find out that an assassination plan had been in the works against Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, Mezopotamya said. The security director has been credited with turning murder suspect Erhan Tuncel into an informant.

Dinç faced trial for his alleged involvement in the Dink murder, but the case against him was dismissed over statute of limitations. Following the murder, Dinç was promoted to Intelligence Department Director.

Before his promotion he had been an intelligence branch director in the northern Trabzon province, which saw lynchings of families of leftist prisoners, a bombing committed by suspects in the Dink case, and the infamous killing of Andrea Santoro, a Catholic priest who was murdered in 2006.

Under Dinç as the intelligence director, a report on ISIS’ plans to target a peace rally in Ankara in Oct. 2015 was prepared two days before the attack, but was only forwarded to provincial anti-terror directorates on Oct. 10, the morning two explosions killed more than 100 left-wing activists in the Turkish capital.

Relatives of the Dedeoğlu family were physically assaulted by police as they attempted to visit the home in Meram, Konya, where the massacre took place, Duvar news site reported on Sunday.

The nephew of the mother and father killed in the incident said a police officer struck him with a baton, causing him to fall, after which he was attacked by a group of 10-15 people, it said.

“We have been under threat for four months and nobody cared. What have they done to help us?’’ T24 cited Harun Rıfatoğlu as saying.

Meanwhile, protests took place in multiple cities against the massacre of the Kurdish family.

Protestors gathered in front of the HDP headquarters in the town of Tarsus in southern Mersin province, pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya news agency reported on Sunday.

HDP lawmaker Fatma Kurtalan and he party’s provincial co-chair Bekir Anaçkaya were among those in attendance, according to the agency, with protestors carrying banners, which read,“We know the murderers,’’ as they chanted, “Together against fascism.’’

In southeastern Diyarbakır province, members of a number of Kurdish groups, including HDP lawmakers, gathered to protest the killing of the members of the Dedeoğlu family, the agency said.

Protesters also gathered in southeastern Adıyaman province.

Police intervened as the group prepared to release a press statement, according to Mezopotamya, with HDP lawmaker Remziye Tosun being dragged on the ground following a melee between protesters and officers.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) on Saturday called for a detailed investigation into the massacre following a visit to Meram by a party delegation, Mezopotamya reported on Sunday.

A great deal of responsibility falls on the shoulders of the state, government and politicians in dealing with this massacre, CHP lawmaker Abdüllatif Şener, who led the delegation, said, while urging for the details of the case to be unveiled.

“It is inevitable that both the administration and the executive exert all of their efforts to ensure that the real dimensions of this incident are revealed,’’ Şener said.

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