Agos Newspaper Receives 250 Death Threats

ISTANBUL–Since the murder of Agos newspaper editor Hrant Dink until today, the editorial offices of the paper have received more than 250 death threats, as a result of which some three staff members have left their jobs, reported Aydin Engin Agos contributor and a long-time friend of Dink’s. "We’re going to blow you to pieces," said one of the threats that came immediately after Dink’s funeral, added Engin. He added that it was become quite intrusive to go around the city with a bodyguard, but since he has received death threats himself, he explained that it was necessary. Engin also added that a fund, in memory of Hrant Dink, would be established, headed by very prominent international figures in academia. "We are deeply concerned about the confrontation between different sectors of society after the killing," said the Istanbul Patriarch Archbishop Mesrob Mutafyan. Also on Friday, the European Parliament issued a report on the assassination of the editor-in-chief of the Agos daily Hrant Dink, in which it suggests the European Union to exert pressure on Turkey connected with the guarantee of human rights and the Armenian Issue. Turkish "Zaman" said that the report was prepared by Co-Chair of the Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Commission Joost Lagendijk. The document particularly refers to the disputes about Dink assassination and the funeral ceremony. "The funeral ceremony was a historic event for Istanbul, which assembled thousands of people, who came to pay tribute to Hrant Dink’s memory and express their protest," the document reads. The rapporteur, who witnessed those painful events, notes that despite the speedy detainment of the murderer many questions still remain without answer. "Hrant Dink’s approach towards the events of 1915 was much more effective than the Diaspora’s approach," the document reads. "He was concerned about the painful historic facts of the Armenian nation no less than the Diaspora, but he had chosen another, and probably a more productive approach. In his speeches and articles he was escaped using the word "genocide" leaving the choice for characterization of the events to the readers and audience," the document notes .The report called on the public to assist the Agos newspaper, "since closure of the paper will be a great loss for Turkey. The document noted that "the European Parliament would like to get convinced that the Armenian Issue and question connected with freedom of speech are a priority in the agenda of the Turkish Government. The source reminds that the European Parliament officially recognized the Armenian Genocide in 1987 and calls on Turkey to follow its example for joining the European Union.

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