January 17
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An Istanbul court has ruled for the release of detained Veysel Şahin and Okan Şimşek, who are defendants along the lines of the case into the assassination of Istanbul Armenian journalist Hrant Dink.

In its decision to have these defendants released, the court noted that being intelligence officers of the Trabzon Gendarmerie, they had informed their superior in timely fashion about the assassination being plotted against Dink, the ByLock smartphone messaging application—which is considered the means of communication between the members of the Gülen Movement, led US-based Turkish Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen—was not found on their smartphones, and they did not have accounts at Bank Asya of the Gülen Movement as well as cash flows in bank accounts, according to Agos Armenian weekly of Istanbul.

But these defendants were released on the condition that they have to attend the trials on the Dink murder case, and to every week sign up at the police stations near the places of their residence.

Hrant Dink, the founder and chief editor of Agos, was gunned down on January 19, 2007, outside the then office of this newspaper.

In 2011, the perpetrator, Ogün Samast, was sentenced by a juvenile court to 22 years and ten months for the murder.

After long court proceedings and appeals, however, a new probe was ultimately launched into this murder case, and regarding numerous former and serving senior Turkish officials’ complicity in this assassination.

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