ANC-AU Statement: 13 Years Since the Istanbul Assassination of Armenian Journalist Hrant Dink

By ANC-AU | Monday, 20 January 2020


13 Years Since the Istanbul Assassination of Armenian Journalist Hrant Dink

Today, the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU) joins fellow Armenian-Australians and Armenians from around the world in pausing to remember the assassination of Turkish-Armenian journalist and editor, Hrant Dink.

13 years ago – on January 19 2007 – Dink was shot dead in broad daylight in front of the Istanbul office of his newspaper Agos, sending shockwaves across the worldwide Armenian diaspora and the global community of journalists and activists.

A Turkish nationalist was later arrested, and photographed surrounded by Turkish police holding up Turkish flags, not as a criminal but as some sort of hero. A hero for the murder of a man who was a proud Turkish citizen of Armenian heritage, a man whose very work was dedicated to leading Turkey to the path of truth about its own history.

Dink genuinely believed that justice for the Armenian Genocide would make for a better Turkey, and one that would be able to form good neighbourly relations with Armenia.

Instead of being praised for his efforts, Ankara charged him under Article 301, which Turkey's penal code references as "insulting Turkishness". Dink was charged for “insulting Turkishness” simply because he spoke about the Armenian Genocide.

His defence of these and other trumped-up charges led to Dink being labelled a traitor to Turkey, despite his obvious and long-term devotion to his nation of citizenship. This labeling led to his becoming a target for nationalists.

Ultimately, this state-sanctioned labeling led directly to Dink’s assassination by nationalist forces, who wished to eliminate this increasingly influential intellectual and advocate for democracy. Not to mention, they robbed his family of their husband and father.

Hrant Dink's funeral saw over a million Turks and others march the streets of Istanbul, chanting "We are all Hrant. We are all Armenian."

There were protests all around the world, including here in Australia, when then-Chair of the ANC-AU Dr. Tro Kortian told the Sydney Morning Herald: “The Turkish government's ongoing denial of the genocide was feeding an atmosphere of intolerance and racial hatred.”

13 years ago, the Armenian world lost a giant. 105 years ago, the Armenians were nearly lost to the world. Turkey continues to live with impunity, regardless if their hate crimes impact one person or 1.5 million people. It is time this cycle of genocide stops.

In memory of Hrant Dink, the ANC-AU will continue to pursue justice for the Armenian Genocide on behalf of our community of descendants of survivors of the Armenian Genocide.

Rest In Peace Hrant.

Armenian National Committee of Australia
Sydney, Australia – 19th January 2020