Remembering a Hero: Hrant Dink

But one thing I know is that things will change, for better or worse. How do I know? I don’t see the change, I’m living the change.

         HRANT DINK (1954-2007)

A decade ago, on January 19th, 2007, Hrant Dink, the Turkish-Armenian journalist, editor of AGOS, a hero who defied the Turkish taboo of silence on the subject of the Armenian Genocide, was gunned down outside the offices of AGOS in Istanbul.

The prominent British journalist, correspondent of the London ‘INDEPENDENT’ in the Middle East, Robert Fisk, described Hrant Dink as the 1,500,001st victim of the Armenian Genocide.

The shock was overwhelming even for Turkish society. So much that a hundred thousand of them walked at the procession of his funeral, carrying signs, banners and placards reading “we are all Hrant Dink,” “we are all Armenians.”

Hrant Dink was one of the most prominent students of another Hrant, Hrant Guzelian, who through his sparkling Christian faith “embarked on a mission of search and rescue of children of endangered Armenian families in Anatolia by bringing them to Istanbul, enrolling them in schools (“The Youth Home of Istanbul” and later ” Camp Armen”) and educating them with the elements of the Armenian culture.”

Hrant Dink was a shining star among the students. After contributing to the building of Camp Armen in Tuzla he grew up to take a leadership role in the Gedik Pasa Armenian Evangelical Church after the seizure of the Camp by the Turkish authorities and Guzelian’s arrest and exile.

A study of Hrant Dink’s life reveals that the story of the Tuzla Camp, its creation and its seizure by the Turkish authorities, the childhood labor invested and the earthly heaven (Hrant’s ATLANTIS) created there, left a deep scar on his psyche that went on to be the driving force in his years of struggle for the return of Camp Armen, for justice, fairness, freedom of expression, minority rights and true democracy for all Turkish citizens under Turkish law.

On January 19, 2007 Hrant Dink was slain.

The 17 year old teenager assassin, Ogun Samast, was the trigger man. But the murder was committed by the forces of darkness, by Turkish penal code 301, by Deep State in the Republic of Turkey.

Hrant’s struggle partially paid off. On October 27, 2015 Camp Armen was returned to the Gedik Pasa Armenian Evangelical Church in Istanbul.

But 101 years after the Genocide and 10 years after Dink’s assassination the Turkish State still lies in a deep coma of denial.

We share Dink’s values of justice, fairness, freedom of expressions and true democracy in the land he justifiably called home.

We thank God for the legacy and bow to the memory of the martyred hero.

We firmly believe that his blood was not shed in vain and his voice will never be silenced!

Zaven Khanjian
AMAA Executive Director/CEO

Hrant Dink’s 11/05/06 Address United Armenian Congregational Church, Hollywood, CA

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