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A year ago, Hrant Dink, the editor-in-chief of the bilingual Armenian and Turkish weekly Agos, was assassinated on January 19, 2007 by a young ultranationalist in front of his office in Istanbul.

Hrant Dink was an Armenian journalist who lived in Turkey. He struggled for the recognition of the Armenian genocide by Turkey, and for freedom of expression in his country. This commitment against the State denial brought upon him the hostility of the Turkish authorities, a conviction in virtue of the Turkish Penal Code 301 article which protects “Turkishness” and finally a condemnation to death from ultranationalist groups.

The European Armenian Federation notes that a year after the assassination, the proceedings are floundering at the very time when – and especially because – it was widely demonstrated that the group of killers acted in close consultation with police and State services.

The European Armenian Federation also reminds us that now Hrant Dink’s son and contributor – Arat Dink and Sarkis Seropyan – are now accused in virtue of the sinister article 301. The Federation remarks that this article – the emerged part of the Turkish judicial structure which legalizes the “superiority of the Turkish race”, the base of the doctrine of State – is still in force as well as dozens equivalent clauses registered in the Turkish penal code and Constitution.

The Federation informs that even the timid projects of amending article 301 that have been advertised have been rejected by Turkey’s Great National Assembly. Thus, that shows its will to maintain in place the fundamentally non-egalitarian doctrine of the State.

“We pay tribute to Hrant Dink’s courage who gave hope to hundreds of Turkish democrats by simply attempting to affirm his civic and Armenian minority’s collective rights. However, we consider that this murder tragically proves that it was wrong to believe that internal Turkish democratic forces can create change on their own! They are in dire need of strong and effective external support!”, declared Laurent Leylekian, the executive director of the European Armenian Federation.

The Federation considers that thousands of Turkish citizens who demonstrated when Hrant Dink was killed cannot make us forget the radicalisation of ultranationalism and armenophobia in this country. The Federation reminds that the policemen who arrested the killer were proud to pose with him and that a song glorifying his “achievement” had great success in Turkey.

“By not using a language of truth with the Turkish state, by not clearly calling for the abandon of its denial and the recognition of the Armenian genocide, the European authorities have clearly shown that they have left the democratic minority of Turkey and they have finally permitted the murder of Hrant Dink”, concluded Laurent Leylekian.
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European Armenian Federation
for Justice & Democracy
Avenue de la Renaissance 10
Brussels, 1000

The European Armenian Federation is the biggest and most influential Armenian grassroots organisation in Europe


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