Yasin Hayal, convicted of complicity in the 2007 murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, said the masterminds behind the killing were planning to kill Nobel prize-winning novelist Orhan Pamuk after Dink, this according to a reporter in the newspaper Taraf.
After being arrested and taken to court in 2007, Hayal had threatened, “Orhan Pamuk should be careful.”
Hayal elaborated on these statements five years later from his prison cell in Tekirdağ. He said Erhan Tuncel, who worked as an informant for the Trabzon Police Department and was arrested after the murder of Dink but subsequently released, told him: “Hrant Dink and Orhan Pamuk are dangerous to this nation. They should be killed. But Dink has priority.”
In January, gunman, Ogün Samast was sentenced to 22 years, 10 months in prison while Hayal was given life imprisonment for inciting Samast to murder. Tuncel was found not guilty of murdering Dink.
Hayal said he made the threatening statement against Pamuk based on Tuncel's remarks.
Hayal said they shelved their plans to kill Pamuk when the Hrant Dink murder caused an fury in the country and internationally.
He also said he regrets having made those statements about Pamuk, which he said were a result of ignorance. “They [those remarks] were due to youth and ignorance. If I happen to get out of this place one day, I will visit him [Pamuk] and kiss his hand [a show of respect in Turkish culture] and apologize to him,” he said.