Nationalists unfurl banner hailing assassin of Hrant Dink at Khojaly Massacre commemoration
The banner reads: 'Hooray for Ogün Samast! Down with Hrant Dink! Salute Azerbaijan and keep on fighting.' Agos photoA group of ultranationalists unfurled a racist banner praising Ogün Samast, the assassin of the Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink as they marched to commemorate the Khojaly Massacre in Istanbul on Feb. 23, daily Agos has reported.
“Hooray for Ogün Samast! Down with Hrant Dink! Salute Azerbaijan and keep on fighting,” read the banner.
Dink was the editor-in-chief of Agos, which has been the voice of the small Armenian community in Istanbul for several decades and was shot dead by Samast in front of his office in Istanbul on Jan. 19, 2007.
The group reportedly identified themselves as “soldiers of Alparslan Türkeş,” who was a nationalist politician and founder of Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). They began to march from Şişli to Taksim square, but were prevented by the police.
The group dispersed after making a press statement, saying people in Turkey were ignorant of the massacre.
During the massacre, hundreds of ethnic Azerbaijanis – the majority of whom were women and children – were killed during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. According to international observers, the killing of 613 civilians was committed by ethnic Armenian armed forces, reportedly with the help of Russian soldiers.