Armenians, Turks and Hrant Dink
Cover photo: iletisim.ieu.edu.tr
“We are all Armenians, we are all Hrant Dinks”, this was the start of a new chapter of an old history.
The fact that sooner or later Hrant Dink will be assassinated was not a matter of massive surprise among the ones familiar with him. While the reaction of thousands of Turks after the assassination was a matter of huge consideration.
Thousands of people came out to the street of the old Istanbul grieving the shocking loss of an exceptional citizen. The murder of this man launched the new life of an entire society.
Hrant Dink has been killed on January 19th, 2007. The news itself was shocking for the entire world. Mass media addressed the murder with proper detailed investigations publishing every detail in different languages. While the murder was the main subject of discussion, a few could hardly notice massive reactions expressed by protest marches. It was the birth of new generation drying the dust of its past.
To the question who was Hrant Dink, an ordinary journalist or a simple citizen, the answer lies on speaking up the unspoken. His whole life he was struggling to build a healthy society, disseminate justice among those who considers Turkey his home.
With tangibly rising pressure from the government his bitingly sarcastic statements coming up with more enthusiasm. The fact that mostly caught his enemies was that he was not only the one to be simply read and listen to. The society trusted and sympathized him, moreover his newspaper was already hideously popular in the all remote regions of Turkey which statistically were emptied by Armenians for about ten decades. His proficient activities and a cheer devotion affected hundreds of inhabitants in Turkey.
But the most interesting thing was that there were even ones avoiding Hrant Dink’s presence. The frightening perception of danger was his inseparable follower. People tended to see the causing trouble instead the struggling hero.
The number of dangerous cases was increasing with the vivid popularity of Hrant Dink and his newspaper. Numerous long-lasting trials, interruptions of authorities with threatening letters and provocations in front of the editorial house were a usual thing. All these expressions of hatred were already usual but undoubtfully were leading to the disastrous end.
Hrant Dink’s answer was always negative to the invitations of moving to another country. He was exclaiming his rights to die in the homeland. The idea of leaving Turkey was a bright betrayal for him, disloyalty to his views and his roots.
“It is out of question”, Dink’s often repeated answer.
He always stayed true to his principals, putting in danger even his and his relative’s lives.
The organizers of assassination decided to stay true to their old habit to kill Hrant Dink and stop the formation of new views among the society caused by Dink’s power. While the murder intended to close the rising voices influenced right the opposite. Thousands of ‘voices’ became louder after Dink’s death, he stayed alive in the pleas of the gathering protesters among the streets of the city.
With his life Hrant Dink proved the fact that even a single person having a solid mission can implement the changes that will remain loudly written in the manuals and silently announced among the party members.
Hrant Dink was the combination of two paradoxes of a millennium caring love and devotion to Turks and Armenians. His honesty and directness in the topics addressed accepted with trust among Turks and Armenians.
With his life he bravely paved the way for the new generation to the new epoch.
Hrant Dink was born in 1957 in the city Malatia (Historical Armenia). Spent the childhood in Istanbul studying in the Armenian school. Later he graduated from Istanbul University. Being very active during student years he headed the Educational camp for Armenian children, which was closed by the government earlier in 1983. For several times he has been prosecuted and blamed for his political and social views. Founded the first Turkish-Armenian publication ‘Agos’, won several international awards and wrote a number of books.