Turkish-Armenian journalist killed in Turkey

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was killed today in Turkey.

A Turkish-Armenian journalist, Hrant Dink, was assassinated today at the age of 52 in front of the Agos newspaper office, at the Istanbul district of Osmanbey, where he worked as the editor and a journalist. Witnesses say that after being shot, he was able to stand up for a while, extending his hand in search of help, which never came.

Dink, a brave journalist who was not afraid to discuss one of Turkey's most controversial issues, clearly called what happened to Armenians in 1915 when the land was being governed by the Ottoman Empire the Armenian Genocide. As BBC reports, he

said the word did not need to be accepted by other Turks for it to remain true in his mind.

His body was kept for an hour on the pavement by Turkish security forces.

The assassin was reported to be about 18-19 years old, wearing a white hat and jeans. Two other suspects were taken into custody at the Taksim district. A Turkish TV station broadcasted the images of the killer. Click here for the broadcast.

Following his father's assassination, Dink's daughter, referring to the fascist obsession with pure blood, said:

They shot my father. Is their blood purer now? They were afraid to face him, they shot him in the back.

All vacations were canceled for Turkish security forces in Istanbul.

The patriarch of Turkish Armenians, Misrob Mutafyan, announced a 15-day mourning following the assassination. Mr. Mutafyan called the assassination "barbarian, treacherous, and dastardly".

While the body was taken away, a group applaused Dink, uttered "Long live peoples' brotherhood", "The assassin government will pay", and "Hrants will not die". They then marched to the Taksim Square. Another protest march was organized at the capital of Turkey, Ankara.

Turkey witnessed 62 journalist assassinations after 1909, the last before Hrant Dink being Ahmet Taner Kışlalı in 1999.


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