Street in Istanbul to be renamed in honor of Hrant Dink

Istanbul’s Şişli district municipal council has decided to rename a street in honor of slain Armenian editor and journalist, Hrant Dink, the Armenian Weekly reports.

According to a report in Turkey’s Cumhuriyet newspaper, the decision to change Samanyolu (Milky Way) street to Hrant Dink Street has been sent for approval to the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Assembly. The report also indicates that another street—Işık (Light) Street—will be renamed in honor of Ugur Mumcu, an investigative journalist for Cumhuriyet, who was assassinated by a car bomb in 1993.

The decision to change the two street names came at a March 8 session of the Şişli Municipal Council.

Dink was assassinated on Jan. 19, 2007, outside of his office in Şişli. Since then, tens of thousands have gathered every year on Jan. 19 to hold a commemoration event and to demand answers from Turkish authorities regarding his death.

As editor-in-chief of the bilingual Turkish-Armenian Agos newspaper, Dink advocated for Turkish–Armenian reconciliation and human and minority rights in Turkey. He was sharply critical of the Turkish government’s denial of the Armenian Genocide, and was prosecuted three times for insulting Turkishness. He was also hthreatened several times by Turkish nationalists before his assassination.

“We wanted these two intellectuals—these martyrs of the press and of democracy—live on. Hrant Dink and Ugur Mumcu were major figures in Turkey’s struggle for democracy, collective peace, and progress with their writings, books, and research,” Şişli Mayor Hayri İnönü said about the renaming.

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