Saturday, 20 January 2007

Armenian journalist Hrant Dink murdered

In 2005, Hrant Dink believed that:
I don't think I could live with an identity of having insulted them [Turks] in this country... if I am unable to come up with a positive result, it will be honourable for me to leave this country.
In 2006, he stated that:
I will not leave this country. If I go I would feel I was leaving alone the people struggling for democracy...It would be a betrayal of them.
On Friday the 19th of January 2007, Hrant Dink was murdered by nationalists - twice shot in the head - outside the office of his newspaper, Agos, which published in Armenian and Turkish and which, as Nicholas Birch noted in the Guardian,
was the fruit of his belief that only dialogue could resolve the bitter memories left by the mass murder of Ottoman Armenians during the first world war.
On from Holland to Kurdistan, Vladimir van Wilgenburg remembered that,
Recently he also participated in the "democracy and peace initiative". The goal of this conference was to bring peace to Turkey and a solution for the Kurdish issue. Hrant Dink was a true defender of democracy.
Nicholas Birch relayed the suspicion of former head of the Human Rights Association of Turkey, Akin Birdal, "who was himself shot and severely wounded in 1998 by suspected nationalists", that:
This was an organised attempt by those who want to destroy Turkey's European Union aspirations and cast Turkey into darkness.
At Rasti, Mizgin argued that:
Turkey is making no effort to "come to terms with its past." It is still a fascist regime and it has no intention of changing. Even the EU knows this and not only goes along with Turkey, but enables it at every opportunity, and why not? Europe is the native home of fascism.
This murder is one horrific part of a system of oppression of the whole of Turkish society. As relayed from CNN by Onnik Krikorian at Oneworld Multimedia,
He [journalist and friend Andrew Finkel] said that over the last 15 years, 18 Turkish journalists have been killed - making the country the eighth deadliest in the world for journalists in that period. He said that many of the deaths took place in the early 1990s "at the peak of the Kurdish separatist insurgency."

He said killings, other attacks against journalists that don’t result in deaths, and the many cases of Turkish journalists facing criminal charges under "vague statutes" create a "chilling effect" among media workers.
Although I share Mizgin's disgust with the crime, I don't think blocking Turkey's accession will solve the problems; I still believe that the only way to take Turkey out of the military's hands in particular and nationalists' hands in general and put it in the hands of all of the citizens of Turkey is through the European Union. For updates on Hrant Dink's murder by Turkish nationalists, see Oneworld Multimedia (and from Holland to Kurdistan and Rasti).

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