Hrant Dink commemorated on the 12th anniversary of his murder

Agos Newspaper Editor, Hrant Dink, was commemorated on the 12th anniversary of his murder. 

Hrant Dink's family, murdered Amed Bar Association President Tahrir Elçi's wife Türkan Elçi, HDP and CHP deputies, journalists, Saturday Mothers, political parties and democratic mass organizations, as well as a large number of people joined the commemoration. 

At the exact spot where Dink was shot, candles were lit and a banner saying “For Hrant, for justice” and “We are all Hrant, we are all Armenians” in Armenian, Kurdish and Turkish were opened. 

On the balcony of Agos building, Bülent Aydın spoke on behalf of Hrant Dink’s friends.  called to the audience. A message by fellow journalist Osman Kavala was read as Kavala is currently in prison. 

In front of the building of the Agos Newspaper Dink’s wife Rakel and children Arat, Delal, Sera, left flowers at the spot where Hrant Dink was murdered. 

One of the most moving moments of the commemoration was the embrace between Rakel Dink and Türkan Elçi, whose hubands were both murdered by the state. The two women assisted at the ceremony hand in hand. 


Filiz Ali, the daughter of Sebahattin Ali, a writer and poet who was murdered on 2 April 1948, read the letter she wrote about Hrant Dink:

"Dear Hrant,

For the 12th time, we stand before the newspaper Agos, to stand beside your family, against the darkness that has taken you from us. 

We are speaking to you today as one of the oldest members of our extended family, which unfortunately grows in relatives suffering.

My father Sabahattin Ali left for Ankara on a snowy morning in 1948 after taking pictures of me and my mother. He never came back. 

My father, who disappeared while in custody and has not be found yet, was neither the first nor the last disappeared people in the history of this country. The killer, who told my father that he had insulted national feelings was no different from a murderer who killed you and then posed in front of the Turkish flag. 

Sabahattin Ali has been missing for 70 years. The truth of what happened to him has not yet been told, neither is the truth about your murder.” 

The letter ended with these words: “Dear Hrant, we're not that hopeless. We're still here, we're not going away, we're not giving up. Those who were still children when they killed you are here today, between us, asking questions, demanding truth and justice. Hope is here! This land, this country is ours!”


Prominent Turkish Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was murdered in Istanbul on 19 January 2007. 
He was Agos newspaper editor and had written and spoken at length about the 1915 Armenian Genocide. He was well known for his efforts for reconciliation between Turks and Armenians.

At the time of his death, he was on trial for violating Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code and "denigrating Turkishness". 

Dink was assassinated in Istanbul at around 12:00 GMT on 19 January 2007 as he returned to the offices of Agos. 

The killer was reported to have introduced himself as an Ankara University student who wanted to meet with Mr. Dink. When his request was rejected, he waited in front of a nearby bank for a while. According to eyewitnesses, Dink was shot by a man of 25 to 30 years of age, who fired three shots at Dink's head from the back at point blank range before fleeing the scene on foot. According to the police, the assassin was a man of 18 to 19 years of age. Two men had been taken into custody in the first hours of the police investigation, but were later released.

One day after the assassination, the police announced that the shooter had been identified in video footage collected through both the Istanbul MOBESE electronic surveillance network (4,000+ cameras throughout the city) and local security cameras. They later released photos to the public while urging every citizen to aid with the investigation. 

News agencies reported that the shooter had been identified as "Ogün Samast", a teenager born in 1990 and registered as residing in Trabzon.

Samast's father identified him from the publicly released photos and alerted the authorities. Six people, including Samast's friend Yasin Hayal, who had been involved in a bombing of a McDonald's restaurant in Trabzon in 2004, were taken into custody and brought to Istanbul.

On 25 July 2011 Samast was convicted of murder and possession of arms by the Heavy Juvenile Criminal Court. He was sentenced to 22 years and 10 months in prison.

On 16 January 2012 Istanbul’s 14. Heavy Criminal Court ruled that there was no conspiracy behind the assassination and stated that the murder was an ordinary killing. Yasmin Hayal was found guilty of murders and sentenced to life imprisonment, while two other men were found guilty of assisting him and sentenced to 12 years and 6 months in prison."