Thousands protest Dink murder on 5th anniversary
Thousands gathered to protest court decision in Dink anniversary in Istanbul’s Taksim Square and walked toward the weekly Agos newspaper building located in Istanbul’s Osmanbey district. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL
More than 30,000 protesters came together to mark the fifth anniversary of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink’s murder yesterday as reactions continued to grow over the court ruling regarding the case.
Friends, supporters as well as human rights activists met in Istanbul’s Taksim Square and walked toward the weekly Agos newspaper building located in Istanbul’s Osmanbey district.
The silent protest then gave way to slogans as protesters chanted, “We are all Hrant, we are all Armenian,” in reaction to a recent court decision in which the court sentenced suspect Yasin Hayal to aggravated life imprisonment while releasing suspect Erhan Tuncel.
“The state intentionally turned a blind eye and released [the suspects] despite [the existence] of an organization [behind the crime]. We are going to strive for this murder to be brought to light even after 95 years. The prime minister and the [Cabinet] ought to solve the murders,” researcher Feza Kürkçüoğlu told the Hürriyet Daily News during yesterday’s march.
“Both Hrant and Sevag were killed because they were Armenian. One was in the prime of his life, and I buried him. I cannot bear it. Hrant was killed because of his thoughts and Sevag due to his identity,” said Ani Balıkçı, the mother of Sevag Balıkçı, who was killed April 24, 2011, allegedly by a stray bullet while performing his military service in the southeastern province of Batman.
The Balıkçı family stood together with the Dink family and gave messages of solidarity. Many writers, journalists and politicians from the opposition were in front of weekly Agos to support the protest.
“This murder is unforgivable regardless of nationality. I came here from Marmaris for this,” said Ayşe Yolcu, a woman who was to make a 12-hour journey back home after the demonstration.
The protesters together placed a cobblestone in front of the Agos building on which the date and time of Hrant Dink’s murder was written both in Turkish and Armenian. Speaking to the crowd from the weekly Agos building’s window, writer Karin Karakaşlı said, “They killed Hrant in the court once again.
“They didn’t kill him just once; they killed him by announcing him first as an enemy of the Turkish people. They killed him when they put him in the center of hatred. They couldn’t make the connections between those who attempted the murder and those behind it. What is being done to us is a sin. Let’s promise to one another. This case is not over yet,” Karakaşlı said.
Meanwhile, youth branches of the main opposition People’s Republican Party (CHP) in Ankara also staged a demonstration in protest of the recent court verdict over Dink’s murder. Members of youth branches affiliated with the Çankaya District Presidency gathered in Sakarya Square wearing white clothes reminiscent of shrouds and bore slogans such as “equality, fraternity, justice.”