Hrant Dink is the first and the only Armenian victim murdered by a politically-motivated Turk in the history of the Turkish Republic. We hope it’s the last. The investigation continues but we don’t think this murder is related with the Armenian problem. It’s also impossible to evaluate the situation as racism. Right after the murder, both Turkish government and the Turkish people are getting along with this incident in a good way. After the murder, all of the Turkish newspapers cursed the incident. Lots of people marched in Ankara and Istanbul shouting ‘we are all Armenians, we are all Hrant Dink’. All of the newspapers in Turkey headlined the murder. Hürriyet for instance declared the murderer as a ‘Traitor to the Motherland’ and Sabah daily headlined the murder as ‘The biggest treason’. Other headlines were similar. Not even one single Turkish newspaper including the ultra-nationalist ones protected the killer. Even the most fanatic nationalists didn’t see the killer as a hero. On the contrary, the killer was seen as a ‘traitor’ and an ‘ignorant boy used by the underground and dark powers’.
Turkey has been accused for its possible responsibility in the murder by foreign press without a cause. Some accused Turkey even of being racist. All these claims and accusations have no base and just. Omer Celik, one of the closest deputies to President Erdogan, has recently offered to put Turkish flag on Mr. Dink’s coffin, a common tradition for the martyrs’ and famous statesmen’ funerals. No one raised any objection to this brave idea but lots of people thought that this was a great idea. As the most important symbol for a nation is a ‘flag’, it’s unfair to blame the Turkish people of being racist or anti-Armenian who want to put their pure flag on the coffin of an Armenian Turkish citizen, Hrant Dink.
President of Turkey, Turkish ministers, governor of Istanbul and top level officials of security bureaucracy all condemned the murder. Murderer was caught in 32 hours. President Erdogan said that ‘Dink was the son of this land’. The main opposition party leader Baykal expressed his despair by saying ‘We couldn’t let him live’. Almost every politician’s common attitude was to curse the murderer and they took the side of Dink. Even the ultra nationalist Turks saw the murder as the ‘agent of the dark powers’. Not even one politician was happy of the homicide. No one saw the murderer as a hero. The person who notified the police was the murder’s own father. None of his relatives said he did a good job. Their common attitude about the murder was that it was unacceptable and their son was used by the evil others. In other words even the killer’s most close relatives didn’t saw him as a hero and didn’t back him up.
There is another story on the other side of the medallion.
When Talat Pasha, the Minister of Interior of the Ottoman Empire, was killed by an Armenian named Sogomon Tehliryan on March 15 1921 on a crowded Berlin street (Germany), the attitude of the Armenians were not similar to the attitude of today’s Turkey people. Ironically there are many similarities between the murders of Talat Pasha and of Hrant Dink. As the Turkish historian Murat Bardakci wrote in Sabah newspaper dated 21 January 2007, both victims were shot from the back of their head. The bases of the shooes of the both victims were tattered and holed. Both murders were committed in daylight and on a crowded street. After the Talat Pasha Murder Tehliryan, the Armenian murderer was declared as a hero and even today the Diaspora Armenians and Armenians from Armenia see Tehliryan as a great hero. It was not just the Armenians but also the German Court strangely judged the victim instead of the killer. The Armenian murderer was set free after a short trial. Tehliryan was not the only murderer and terrorist who were declared as a hero by the Armenians. Lots of the Armenian terrorists were declared as heroes afterwards. The Armenian history is full of murderer heroes. Moreover Western courts committed law crimes again and again and set the Armenian killers free. For example the Armenian terrorist Max Kilnajian, who attempted to kill the Turkish ambassador in Bern city, was sentenced to two years by the French court and released shortly after the verdict. The mostly known Armenian terrorist Monte Melkonyan made lots of armed attacks against the Turkish diplomats. In these attacks lots of people were killed. But the French court released Melkonyan after 3 years in prison. Afterwards Mr. Melkonyan joined the Karabakh War against Azerbaijan and he murdered lots of people in that war. But Melkonyan has not been a terrorist or a murderer for Armenians, he has been hero to be respected and followed. Armenia gave salaries to many terrorists and protected them. Unfortunately, while these truths are clear, Armenia and Armenian Diaspora is blaming Republic of Turkey for the Hrant Dink murder.
The murder of Hrant Dink is one of the most dramatic murders of our history. But it’s unfair to exert pressure about Armenian problem by using this unfortunate murder. Also the Armenian Diaspora, who is blaming Turkey, was criticized many times by Hrant Dink himself. They were talking about Dink as a “traitor” and “servant of the Turkey” before, but now they are mongering on his death. Actually this is what they have done all the time. They are always using the reciprocal massacres to get the benefit out of it.
I am really sorry about Mr. Dink’s death. Because from now on, it’s hard to find an Armenian like him. Because he was a Turkish Armenian. He was son of this land. He was not making politics on death. He was working for the peoples who live. We have to do just like this from now on. We must not use the dead as an interest. We must not use a barbarous murder to attack each others.
22 January 2007
Trns. by Zerin Acar and Kemal Tuzcu (JTW)