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Author receives multiple threats in connection with book about Hrant Dink murder

(BIANET/IFEX) - Columnist Adem Yavuz Arslan, Ankara correspondent for the Bugun ('Today') newspaper, was threatened by means of a parcel sent to his office less than two weeks after the release of his book on the assassination of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink.

Arslan is the author of the book "An Armenian: The Hrant Dink Operation Codes" that deals with the murder of Dink, then editor-in-chief of the Armenian "Agos" newspaper, on 19 January 2007. The book revealed new facts about the murder.

On 26 January 2011, a parcel was sent to the journalist's office, located on the premises of the Kanalturk television station in Ankara. The parcel contained several bullets for an automatic Kalashnikov rifle and a white beret, it was reported.

Arslan said that he had been threatened over the phone ever since his book was published two weeks ago. With this latest incident, the level of the threat has increased, he claims. As a result, Arslan has requested protection from the police.

One piece of information disclosed in the book was the statement that Non-Commissioned Officer Satilmis Sahin was just 500 meters away from the suspected shooter, Ogun Samast, on the day of the murder. It was said in the book that Sahin and Samast lived in the same neighbourhood.

The Turkish Journalists Association (TGC) called on officials to find the source of the threats against Arslan. "We emphasize that everybody who wants more democracy in Turkey has to care for freedom of the press and for the right of the people to obtain truthful and unbiased news," the association declared.

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