Hrant Dink commemorated in Istanbul 10 years on



On the 10th year of the murder, Hrant Dink was remembered where he was shotdead, Agos reports.

For many in Turkey, the 10 years that have passed since Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was murdered in broad daylight have not lessened the pain, accoridng to Agence France-Presse (AFP).

“Whenever I pass through this street, I am trembling. It’s very painful. How dare they kill such people?” Turkan Arslan told AFP on the street where Dink was killed by an ultranationalist outside the offices of his Agos newspaper in Istanbul.

Ogun Samast, then a 17-year-old jobless high-school dropout, confessed to the murder and was sentenced in 2011 to almost 23 years in jail.

However, mystery lingers over who orchestrated the killing, which sent shockwaves through Turkey and became a scandal after it emerged that the security forces had known of the plot but failed to act.

Arslan joined thousands of people including Dink’s wife Rakel and his colleagues who turned out to pay tribute to the journalist who founded the bilingual newspaper.

“It looks like the perpetrator of this murder was the state, at all levels,” said Rakel, whose speech was interrupted by the crowds shouting: “The murderer state will be brought to account!”

“This case is one of the keys to Turkey’s democratisation,” she declared.

Under the grey sky, a huge banner with a picture of Dink and the words: “We’ve been missing you for 10 years” hung from the building that housed the Agos offices.

“We are all Hrant, we are all Armenians” the crowds shouted, some people laying red and white carnations on the street where he was gunned down.

Yetvart Danzikyan, who holds Dink’s former job of Agos editor-in-chief, said: “We are still feeling his absence but we know that his words are still echoing.”

Asli Erdogan, one of Turkey’s celebrated novelists who was released from jail last month after being held on charges of terror propaganda, said: “It is a luxury to talk about justice in this country.”

“But we are still here 10 years on. We will also be here 20 years later. Maybe it is the only justice that we are here,” she told AFP.

But Arslan said she was optimistic that justice would be served in Dink’s case.

Although his assassin was rapidly arrested and sentenced, dozens of former public officials, including former police chiefs, have been on trial on charges of negligence over the killing, with Dink’s supporters losing confidence on the ability of Turkey’s justice system to shed light on the plot.

“There is the sun rising after every dark day… The sun will rise again,” Arslan said. “One Hrant is gone, one thousand Hrants will come.”

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