Police Attack Ankara Event
ISTANBUL—Thousands took to the Sisli neighborhood on Thursday to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the assassination of Hrant Dink, the founder and editor of the Agos newspaper who was gunned down in front of his on January 19, 2007. Meanwhile, police in the Turkish capital attacked participants of a similar commemoration.
After marching through the streets of Sisli, the participants of the commemoration gathered in front of the Agos newspaper offices. Several prominent figures, including Garo Paylan, an Armenian member of the Turkish parliament representing the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) attended the commemoration.
Chanting “We Are All Hrant Dink” and “Murderer State Must Answer” the participants laid flowers at the door of the Agos offices and on a plaque that commemorates the murdered editor.
Dink’s widow, Rakel, addressed the gathering, making an impassioned plea for justice and expressing her sadness for having had to live the last decade without her husband.
“10 years. Easier said than lived… Exactly 10 Years. Without you, it has not been easy at all. Being without you, not having my beloved one with me, and above all, being separated from him by a heinous plot have caused even more pain, sorrow and heartache,” said Rakel Dink.
“So much has happened in 10 years. Oh my darling. Malatya massacre, İskenderun, Sevag Balıkçı, Roboski, Gezi events, Suruç, Diyarbakır, Sur, Mardin, Nusaybin, Cizre, Şırnak, Tahir Elçi, Ankara, July 15th, Maçka, İzmir, Gaziantep, Ortaköy, Airport attack and the war in the Middle East. Operations, terror, and what not… The country has turned into a bloodbath. Some wanted to shower in human blood. A nightmare has swept the country. People started to fear and suffocate. People have been humiliated due to their identities; their dignity has been dishonoured and despised,” she added.
In her remarks, Rakel Dink asked, “When will those really responsible for his death be punished?” adding that exposing those responsible for her husband’s murder is vitally important for Turkey’s democratic development.
HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş wrote a letter to Dink, saying, “In the past 10 years, we unfortunately could not bring our country to a place that is livable and free. Therefore we are shy in front of Hrant but we never kneel down.”
Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu also shared a tweet saying that “with a hope that brotherhood, equality and justice prevails in Turkey, I respectfully commemorate Hrant Dink who was murdered 10 years ago today.”
The U.S. Embassy to Turkey also shared a tweet for the occasion, saying, “Ten years ago today the prominent journalist, editor and columnist Hrant Dink was assassinated in Istanbul. We will always remember his message of peace, reconciliation and respect for human rights.”
Meanwhile in Ankara, police attacked participants of a memorial rally dedicated to the 10th anniversary of Dink’s assassination, reported Agos.
A commemorative rally was organized in the capital’s Yuksel Square, where lawmakers from the HDP CHP were scheduled to take part. According to the Agos report, the commemorative event was banned and the group was only allowed to hold a minute-long moment of silence.
The group, which went ahead with the commemoration, was attacked by Ankara police and the event was stopped. All rallies were banned in the city for a month on Jan. 10.