The ‘Smoke’ That Killed Hrant Dink

BY ORHAN KEMAL CENGIZ
From Today’s Zaman

The island is not an ordinary one; it is like a living organism. There are many aspects of this island that deserve to be mentioned, but for our story, the “smoke” is the most important one. There is black smoke that is called the “monster”; it takes the lives of the islanders who are not wanted by “the island” anymore. This “smoke” is not a person; it is the dark side of the soul of the island.

Who killed Hrant Dink? Dink was killed by the “smoke” that encompassed this country in 1915. This “smoke” is the dark side of this country, and it was on duty during all the steps that led to the murder of Dink. Dink knew this darkness very well; he knew the “smoke” was following him. He could see it.

Everything started with a campaign against him. He once wrote an article about the adopted child of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Sabiha Gokcen, whose name was given to an airport. Gokcen was the first woman fighter pilot of Turkey. Dink said Gokcen was actually an Armenian orphan who survived the massacres in 1915. This revelation by Dink about the history of Turkey irritated the “smoke,” which then decided to push the button for his annihilation.

The long campaign leading to the assassination of Dink was launched on the front pages of the Hurriyet newspaper. All of a sudden, Dink’s comments about Gokcen became the headlines of Hurriyet, which is published every day with the same motto, “Turkey belongs to the Turks.” After the Hurriyet publications, the General Staff made very harsh statements about Dink’s comments.

After these publications, ultranationalist groups started to have demonstrations in front of the office of Agos, chanting slogans and holding placards that read “Love it or leave it,” “Your hand will be broken” and “One night we may come unannounced.”

Meanwhile, threats against Dink were pouring in by mail and telephone.

As if all these were not enough, a criminal case was brought against Dink on the grounds that he allegedly insulted “Turkishness” with one of his articles. This case triggered another wave of attacks against Dink. Dink was condemned at the end of the trial process.

The “smoke” was surrounding Dink from all angles. For the final move, hit men made their preparations. Everyone in their district, Pelitli in Trabzon, knew that these youngsters were going to kill Dink. We now know that the gendarmerie, the police, everyone knew that there was intensive preparation for the murder of Dink. They just turned a blind eye, knowing that Dink’s murder was the wish of the “smoke.”

The last move of the “smoke” came on Jan. 17, 2007. Dink was killed in front of the office of his newspaper, Agos.

Dink was killed by the “smoke” that descended on this country in 1915. Turkey, by turning a blind eye to the sins of Talat Pasha and his friends, created this “smoke,” the monster which was going to take the lives of thousands and thousands of people during the republican era of Turkey.

The “smoke” is the dark side of Turkey. The “smoke” is made up of different ingredients. They are the gangs in the state, the media that cover up the sins of the gangs and the judiciary, which refuses to see the crimes of the state, the culture of denial and so on.

The “smoke” is the dark side of this country. The bright side took to the streets during Dink’s funeral and chanted, “We are all Armenians.” The bright side is fighting against Ergenekon today. The bright side will be on the streets on the third anniversary of Dink’s assassination. The bright side and the “smoke” are two sides of this country. The bright side has been mourning Dink. Dearest Hrant Dink, rest in peace. We love you, and we will always remember you!

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