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Hrant Dink, the editor-in-chief of the bilingual Armenian and Turkish weekly Agos, has been assassinated this afternoon in front of his office in Istanbul. The circumstances of the crime are still not clear, but reportedly one person, at least, is involved. Mr Dink has been shot at six times.

Hrant Dink had repeatedly criticized Turkey for its treatment of its ethnic minorities and the outright denial of freedom of speech. He was considered
in Western countries as a champion of the cause of modernisation of present-day Turkey.

“We condemned this hateful assassination” declared Hilda Tchoboian, the chairperson of the European Armenian Federation.

In a country where the system of education and the political culture moulds the minds of the people with hatred towards the Non-Turkish citizens of the
country and where racism is rampant with extreme-right organizations occupying a place of honour, this is a sad reminder that things are far from
changing in today’s Turkey. This vile murder proves once again that racism has deep roots in Turkey”, declared Hilda Tchoboian.

The Federation notes that, among a dozen dissidents to the Turkish State line, it is precisely the one with an Armenian origin who was targeted by the murderers. The Federation asserts that the Turkish State has an
undeniable responsibility for this murder by the mere fact of having perpetuated articles 301 and 305 of the Turkish Penal Code. The Federation also condemns the Turkish authorities for their incapacity in providing
adequate security for journalists and intellectuals.

“This deliberate act aims at maintaining the Armenian community in a climate of terror in order to show them that freedom of expression can have no place
in Turkey, especially concerning the Armenian genocide, and that the community should not overstep its limits”, added Hilda Tchoboian.

“We also say that any attempt by the Turkish government of capitalizing on Hrant Dink’s assassination to promote a liberal image in Europe through public sympathizing would be the height of cynicism. The Turkish authorities would be well advised to refrain from such cheap opportunism which would have no currency whatsoever in Europe”, concluded Hilda Tchoboian.


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For immediate release
January 19, 2007
Contact: Vartenie ECHO
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