Thu Feb 26, 2015 3:20PM
People take part in a demonstration calling for justice over the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink in Turkey's capital city of Ankara on January 19, 2015. (AFP photo)
People take part in a demonstration calling for justice over the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink in Turkey's capital city of Ankara on January 19, 2015. (AFP photo)

Turkish authorities have arrested a former head of the national police intelligence as part of a probe into official negligence in the case of the 2007 murder of a Turkish-Armenian journalist.

Counter-terrorism police detained Ramazan Akyurek in the Turkish capital city of Ankara on Thursday over the death of Hrant Dink, Turkey's Anatolia News Agency reported.

Akyurek faces up to 25 years in jail if found guilty of allowing the "committing (of) a premeditated murder through an act of negligence."

He is among nine Turkish police officers accused of ignoring warnings of a threat to Dink and failing to conduct an effective investigation into the murder case.

Akyurek's detention follows a court ruling by Turkey's top court in July, which assessed the inquiry into the killing as flawed.

The 52-year-old Dink, who was a leading member of Turkey’s Armenian community, was killed by a 17-year-old teenager outside the office of the Armenian weekly, Agos, on January 19, 2007.

Dink had campaigned for reconciliation between Turks and Armenians for years, though Turkish nationalists were completely outraged after he described as “genocide” the alleged mass killing of Armenians during WWI.

Akyurek was among hundreds of policemen removed from their posts amid a purge of officers linked to a movement led by US-based Turkish opposition cleric, Fethullah Gulen. The cleric is accused of orchestrating corruption allegations against the country's officials.

Back in January, two Turkish police officers were also arrested over their alleged failure to prevent Dink's murder. 

SSM/KA/SS