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Like Icarus

Drukuj

19.01.2008

Image «… but he is glad to be hung on the edge of the knife,

killed for being dangerous …»

From the song of V. Vysotsky

Today is the anniversary of assassination of the founder and chief editor of “Agos” newspaper Hrant Dink. By the time of assassination of Hrant Dink “Agos” was Turkey’s first and the only bilingual newspaper. Its print run was 6,000 copies, but it was read by many more people than that, both in and outside Turkey. The newspaper was founded with the purpose of giving Turkish society an idea of Armenian problems and creation a forum for discussing those problems openly.

”Agos” became part and parcel of the changes everyone who has eyes to see notices in Turkey. “Agos” is a bridge between the Armenian and Turkish ethnic communities”, - used to say Dink.

It his last interview just two days before his assassination Hrant Dink compared himself with a pigeon, saying, - “Ever seen a pigeon? Seen how it keeps turning its head? It shudders at the slightest noise, ready to fly away any instant. Can you call that life? The difference is that I can’t fly away like a pigeon.”, - and continued, - “I compared myself to a pigeon because the bird wants to be free, however frightened it might be. That’s what I work for. I want liberty for all of us. I want things to change someday”.

When he was asked «But you can leave this country?» he answered, - “You, of all people, saying that? My friends keep telling me the same thing. Enough of that. I want to carry on my cause here. It is not my own personal cause. It concerns everyone who wants to see Turkey a democratic country. If I surrender and emigrate, the shame will be on us all. This is the land of my ancestors. I have my roots here, and I have the right to die in the country I was born in”.

Image Assassination of Hrant Dink came as a bombshell not only in Turkey, but all over the world. Tens of thousands of Turkish citizens got out on the streets of Istanbul and other big Turkish cities under the slogans “We all Armenians, we all are Hrant Dinks”.

Hrant Dink favored reconciliation and establishment of dialogue between Armenians and Turks.

Wheel Club of Yerevan supports the suggestion of announcing the day of Dink’s assassination (19 January) as a day of freedom of speech both in Armenia and Turkey.

Hovhannisyan Armenak

Founder and a member of

Wheel Club of Yerevan

Image Reference

Hrant Dink was born in 1954 in the Turkish province Malatia. He was 7 years old when his parents took him to Istanbul. He got a higher education in the Armenian school in Istanbul. He graduated Istanbul University, specialized in zoology and later in philosophy. Beginning from 1996 Dink founded bilingual newspaper “Agos”, which was published both in Turkish and Armenian.

In the age of 53 he became famous in Turkey by writing sharp and burning issues. He was persecuted many times for his articles. In 2005 he was sentenced to six months for “Insulting Turkishness”, but later they dismissed charges. He often received threatens with death from ultrarightist Turkish organizations.

Hrant Dink was posthumously awarded the honorable award “Freedom of press-2007” by Turkish Union of Journalists.

1 Icarus is a personage in Hellenic mythology who created the wings and flew up. But he approached the sun, which symbolizes the truth, too close and the sun burned the wax fastening the feathers of his wings and he fell to the ground.

 
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