Hrant Dink Foundation receives Chirac Prize for Conflict Prevention
The Chirac Foundation has awarded the Chirac Prize for Conflict Prevention to the Hrant Dink Foundation in a ceremony held at the Quai Branly Museum with the participation of French President Emmanuel Macron.
Rakel Dink, the wife of slain Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, received the award with Hasrof Dink, the journalist’s brother, on Nov. 23.
“On behalf of myself and our foundation, I would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude for this prize, which we hope will give further strength to everyone striving for democracy and going through challenging times in Turkey. Being with you today has made us stronger,” Dink said in her speech.
Hrant Dink was shot dead with two bullets to the head in broad daylight outside the offices of the Turkish-Armenian weekly newspaper Agos in 2007 in central Istanbul. The foundation was founded by Dink’s wife after his assassination.
“When we decided to establish this foundation with our friends after the tragedy that our family suffered in 2007, we had just one intention: to continue Hrant’s efforts with this institution, and try to fill the huge emptiness created in our lives with his struggle for human rights,” Dink said after accepting the prize. The prize is given to “women and men committed to fighting on a daily basis, out on the field, so that tensions do not escalate into serious conflicts.”
“The racist mentality that made him a target and enemy, and that killed him, is not only trying to get its share of power in Turkey today, but this mentality is rising in the world too, creating new others and enemies and putting up new walls. This world has seen so much pain, isn’t it enough now? So much blood and tears have been shed, isn’t it enough?” she also said.
Saying that the Hrant Dink Foundation aims to “fight against discrimination,” their goal is also “to overcome the borders in people’s minds,” Dink noted.
The Chirac Foundation was established in 2008 by the former French President Jacques Chirac, with the mission to “support efforts for prevention of conflicts, dialogue between cultures and increasing quality of access to health services.”
The Chirac Foundation also presented its Culture for Peace Prize to the Zoukak Theater Company, which “has been contributing, through theater, to the rehabilitation efforts of refugees living in Lebanon camps.”