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20 01 2007 -Hrant Dink
Obituary: Hrant Dink
Hrant Dink, a writer and journalist, was one of the most prominent voices of Turkey's shrinking Armenian community.

The 53-year-old editor was convicted in 2005 for writing about the Armenian "genocide" in 1915, a claim denied by the authorities in Ankara.

He had reportedly received threats from nationalists, who viewed him as a traitor, and had wanted to emigrate.

Dink was one of dozens of writers to be charged under controversial laws against insulting "Turkishness".

'Voice of Armenians'

As the editor of bilingual Turkish-Armenian newspaper Agos, Dink was a well-known public figure in Turkey.

His articles about the alleged mass killings of Armenians by Turks at the beginning of the 20th century had sparked huge controversy in the country on a number of occasions.

In October 2005, Dink was given a six-month suspended sentence after a court had ruled that one of his pieces described Turkish blood as dirty. His appeal was rejected by a court last year.

Dink had always denied his words meant any such thing, arguing that his column had been in fact aimed at improving the difficult relationship between Turks and Armenians.

In one interview in 2005, he said he had been thinking of leaving Turkey.

"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," Dink told the Associated Press news agency.

Turkey's relationship with its once-sizeable Armenian community is still fraught with tension.

Hundreds of thousands of Armenians died or were driven out of Turkey in 1915, in what many Armenians say was a genocide at the hands of Turks.

Ankara denies the allegations, saying the death were a part of World War I in the dying days of the Ottoman empire.
Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/01/19 16:34:03 GMT



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