Istanbul: We are all Hrant, we are all Armenians

Thousands of people in Istanbul commemorated Armenian journalist Hrant Dink. The editor of the Armenian weekly newspaper Agos was shot dead on the street 13 years ago.

Thousands of people commemorated Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, who was murdered 13 years ago, in front of the former publishing building of the Armenian weekly newspaper Agos. The editor, who had been persecuted by nationalist forces in society and the judiciary for years, was shot dead in the street on 19 January 2007. The former editorial offices now house a memorial.

The participants of the commemoration, including Hrant Dink's relatives, members of parliament of the HDP and CHP as well as representatives of various civil society organisations, carried banners with the inscription "For Hrant - For Justice" and "We are all Hrant, we are all Armenians" in Turkish, Kurdish and Armenian. Candles were lit and Armenian funeral songs were sung. At 15.05, the time of the assassination, widow Rakel Dink laid flowers at the scene. The recording of a speech by Hrant Dink was played over loudspeakers.

Sertaç Ekinci of the Social Memory Platform said in an address that Hrant Dink was murdered because he was the "voice of brotherhood" in the country. The Armenian question remains one of the most important open questions in Turkey, he said. Hrant Dink, like Kurdish writer Musa Anter and human rights lawyer Tahir Elçi, was murdered because he had brought together the country's oppressed, he stressed.

"Only recently a trial on the murders of numerous Kurdish intellectuals came to an end. All defendants were acquitted. If there was rule of law in this country, justice would have found its place. If we look for justice, we are denied it. Justice can only exist in this country if the oppressed unite."

The murderer of Hrant Dink was caught shortly after the assassination and later convicted. The masterminds of the state apparatus have still not been brought to justice.