Hrant Dink – Turkey (Sept. 15, 1954 – Jan. 19, 2007)

Linked with ‘The Pigeon-like Unease of My Inner Spirit‘.

It is ironic that Dink got into trouble for suggesting to diaspora Armenians that it was time to rid themselves of their rage against the Turks.
He said: “Armenians, especially of the diaspora, tend to have a problem associated with the role of other that the Turk has played in forming the Armenian identity. There is a certain history. A trauma. The Turk has become such a source of pain that it ‘poisons the Armenian blood’, as the Anatolian saying goes. In my article, I was addressing the Armenian world and saying: ‘There are two ways of getting rid of this poison. One way is for the Turks to empathise with you, and take action to reduce your trauma. At the moment this seems unlikely. The second way is for you to rid yourself of it yourself. Turn your attention towards the state of Armenia and replace the poisoned blood associated with the Turk, with fresh blood associated with Armenia”.
It was the reference to ‘poisoned blood’ associated with the Turk that got Dink in court. (All citations of Open Democracy).

And he said: “I’m living together with Turks in this country … And I’m in complete solidarity with them. I don’t think I could live with an identity of having insulted them in this country”.

He said also: “I was found guilty of racism! How can this be? All my life I have struggled against ethnic discrimination and racism. I would never belittle Turkishness or Armenianness. I wouldn’t allow anyone else to do it, either”.

Bio: Hrant Dink was born in Malatya on September 15th, 1954. At the age of seven, he migrated to Istanbul together with his family. He got his primary and secondary education in Armenian schools. Immediately after lyceum, he got married. He graduated from Zoology Department of Ýstanbul University’s Science Faculty. Then he continued his education at Philosophy Department of the same universities Literature Faculty for a while. Since 1996 he works as the columnist and editor-in chief of AGOS weekly newspaper which can be regarded as the voice of Armenian community. He tries to make this newspaper a democrat and oppositional voice of Turkey and also to share the injustices done to Armenian community with public opinion. One of the major aims of the newspaper is to contribute to dialogue between Turkish and Armenian nations and also between Turkey and Armenia. He takes part in various democratic platforms and civil society organizations. (The Anatolian Times).

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Hrant Dink – Turkey (September 15, 1954 – January 19, 2007)

Hrant Dink (September 15, 1954 – January 19, 2007) was born in Malatya. He was best known for his role as editor of ‘Agos’ Armenian Language weekly in Istanbul. He worked as the columnist and editor-in chief of AGOS weekly newspaper, which can be regarded as the voice of Armenian community, from 1996 until January 19, 2007 when he was shot dead outside of his office.

At the age of seven, he migrated to İstanbul together with his family. In Istanbul, his parents got divorced and he was raised by the Armenian Orphanage in Gedikpasa, Istanbul with his 2 siblings. He got his primary and secondary education in Armenian schools. Immediately after secondary school, he got married to Rakel, a childhood friend from the orphanage. Hrant finished the Istanbul University’s Science Faculty with a degree in zoology. Hrant served 8 months with the Turkish Naval Infantry Regiment in Denizli to satisfy his mandatory military service. He had three children with his wife. He graduated from Zoology Department of İstanbul University’s Science Faculty. Then he continued his education at Philosophy Department of the same university’s Literature Faculty for a while. He started to publish the Turkish-Armenian weekly newspaper AGOS on April 5, 1996 to establish a bridge of communication and understanding between the larger Turkish population and the Turkish-Armenian community which he complained was living too isolated an existence. He tried to make AGOS newspaper a democrat and oppositional voice of Turkey and also to share the injustices done to Armenian community with public opinion. One of the major aims of the newspaper is to contribute to dialogue between Turkish and Armenian nations and also between Turkey and Armenia. He took part in various democratic platforms and civil society organizations. He was charged and convicted of insulting Turkishness in Turkey, charges which he denied. (See this and much more on Armeniapedia.org).

And he said: “In my article, I was talking about the Armenian identity, it’s not my job to criticise the Turkish identity – that’s up to the Turks. I’ve come up from the ranks of the left in this country, I know what you can and cannot do here. I have shared all the pain inflicted on the left since the 1970s. I thought I knew this country well, but this ruling took me by surprise”.

Hrant Dink, editor of the Armenian-Turkish language weekly Agos magazine and a well-known commentator on Armenian affairs, is currently on trial for ?insult to the Turkish state? following remarks made at a conference in 2002. He faces up to six years? imprisonment if convicted. He is appealing against a suspended sentence served against him under similar charges in a trial that concluded in October 2005. (Read more on englishpen.org).Read also:

Poisoning effect in your blood: Dink wrote a series of articles in which he called on diaspora Armenians to stop focusing on the Turks and focus instead on the welfare of Armenia, said Karin Karakaþlý, an editor at Agos newspaper. Karakaþlý said Dink told Armenians their enmity toward the Turks “has a poisoning effect in your blood.” She said the court took the article out of context, wrongly assuming it meant that Turkish blood is poison. On October 7, 2005 Hrant Dink was convicted under article 301 of the penal code of insulting Turkishness, charges that Dink said he would fight, adding that he would leave the country if they were not overturned. He was convicted and given a six-month suspended sentence, which means he will not be forced to serve prison time unless he repeats the offense. Dink has lived in Turkey all his life and was shown on television in tears as he denied the charges and vowed to fight them. “I’m living together with Turks in this country,” Dink told The Associated Press. “And I’m in complete solidarity with them. I don’t think I could live with an identity of having insulted them in this country.” The court said Dink’s article “was not an expression of opinion with the aim of criticizing but was intended to be insulting and offensive.” Dink, speaking in Turkish, said the sentence was an attempt to silence him. “But I will not be silent,” he said. “As long as I live here, I will go on telling the truth, just as I always ve.” Dink said he would appeal to Turkey’s supreme court and to the European Court of Human Rights if necessary. “If it is a day or six months or six years, it is all unacceptable to me,” he said. “If I am unable to come up with a positive result, it will be honorable for me to leave this country.” Source: “Dink convicted of insulting Turkish identity”, Turkish Daily News, Oct 8 2005. (See on Armeniapedia.org).

Poisoning part 2: December, 2005 a Turkish court opened a case against an Armenian-Turkish journalist for his comments on a six-month sentence it gave him earlier for denigrating Turkish identity. The Istanbul court was acting after a group of nationalist lawyers asked the court to file a case against Hrant Dink, editor in chief of the bilingual Turkish and Armenian weekly Agos, and three Agos journalists, saying that the journalists “tried to influence the judiciary” through their editorials. The case was sent to the Court of Appeals. The nationalist Lawyers Unity Association asked the court to bring the case against the four journalists, who face jail terms of nine months to 4½ years, if convicted. “The case has been opened because Dink and the other writers of the Armenian Agos publication have criticized a former sentence of the court in an effort to prevent a just lawsuit, which is against Article 288 of the code,” said the leader of the association, Kemal Kerincsiz. Mr. Dink told the Anka news agency that it was his right to criticize the earlier verdict, adding he would take the case to the European Court of Human Rights if the Court of Appeals upholds the court ruling. Source: “Turkey Brings Another Case Against An Ethnic Armenian”, Reuters/New York Times on Dec 26 2005. (Read all this and much more about Hrant Dink on Armeniapedia.org).

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