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UPDATED: 22:08, January 26, 2007
Trabzon governor, police chief removed from office due to journalist's killing
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Governor Huseyin Yavuzdemir and police chief Resat Altay of the Trabzon province in northern Turkey were removed from office due to recent incidents in the region, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported on Friday.

Ministry of Interior Affairs charged two chief inspectors to investigate whether there was any failure or negligence of the local administration and the provincial security department, according to the report.

Last year, Andrea Santaro, Italian Roman-Catholic priest of the Santa Maria Church, was shot dead by a teenager in Trabzon where he was the parish priest for a small Christian community.

The key suspects of the killing of journalist Hrant Dink were also from the province.

Hrant Dink, a 53-year-old outspoken Turkish journalist of Armenian descent, was shot dead in front of his office building in Istanbul last Friday. The killing has ignited a national public outcry since then.

Last Saturday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Ogun Samast, the suspected killer, was arrested in the northern province of Samsun earlier in the day.

Before his killing, Dink had been convicted by the Article 301 of the Penal Code of insulting Turkey's identity over his comments on the alleged Armenian genocide by Ottoman Turks during World War I and received a six-month suspended sentence.

He had also received threat from nationalists who considered him as a traitor, local media reported.

Turkey has denied that up to 1.5 million Armenians died as a result of systematic genocide during the Turkish Ottoman period between 1915 and 1923.

Source: Xinhua

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