Hrant Dink

Gazeteci, Yazar

15 Eylül, 1954
19 Ocak, 2007
Istanbul University Faculty of Science Department of Zoology
Diğer İsimler

Journalist-author (Born 15 September 1954, Malatya – Death 19 January 2007, Şişli / İstanbul). He changed his name to “Fırat” with a court decision. His father is from Gürün, Sivas and his mother from Kangal, Sivas. Upon moving to Istanbul in 1961 and divorce of his parents he was placed to the Armenian Orphanage in Gedikpaşa with his two siblings. Adopting the left view in this period, he started to make politics in Turkish Communist Party’s Marxist-Leninist line. He studied zoology in Istanbul University’s Faculty of Science. After a while he married Rakel Hanım with whom they grew up together. He administrated Tuzla Armenian Children Camp with his wife to where orphan children from Anatolia are placed. In the same time he continued his works in the publishing house and stationery shop he opened with his siblings.

Dink who wrote book reviews in some newspapers became known with his corrections to some news published in the press. He said in the Armenian Church “The Armenian society is living a closed life. If we explain ourselves prejudices will be less” and suggested to publish a Turkish-Armenian newspaper for this purpose. He was the founder, editor and leader writer of Agos newspaper whose first issue was published on the 5th of April 1996. His writings were also published in Zaman and Bir Gün newspapers except for Agos. He defended the idea that all ethnic groups in Turkey should live in peace together. He invited the Armenian Diaspora to a softer opposition which did not include the term of genocide for 1915 events. He said that the real responsible part of 1915 events was not the Ottoman Empire on the contrary of the Armenian Diaspora, but the European countries. During a conference in 2002 in Urfa he said “I am not a Turk. I am a Turkish citizen and Armenian” which put him on trial with a penalty of 3 years due to “humiliation of Turkishness”. Later he was acquitted but after another article of him published on the 3rd of February 2004 he was put on trial again according to the 301st article of the Turkish Penal Code which is “insulting Turkishness”. Despite of the fact that the expert’s report said otherwise, he was condemned to six month imprisonment; however his penalty was suspended. He prepared to apply to European Court of Human Rights for this case.

Hrant Dink was shot to death on the 19th of January 2007 at the exit of Agos newspaper which is located on the Halaskârgazi Street of Şişli. The 19 years old murder suspect Ogün Samast was arrested upon his father’s notice. Hrant Dink whose death created reactions in numerous parts of the society is the 62nd journalist assassinated in Turkey since 1909.

He received in 2005 Turkish Human Rights Association’s Ayşe Nur Zarakolu Freedom of Thought and Speech Prize, in 2006 Freedom of Thought and Brave Journalism Prize of the German Stern magazine, on the 18th of November 2006 Freedom of Thought and Idea Pen Award and on the 24th of November 2006 Bjornson Human Rights Prize. After being killed in 2007 he was granted Turkish Journalists Association Freedom of Press Award. His name was given to a street in Lyon, another street in Diyarbakır where Turks and Assyrians live together and to a children park in Kınalıada. 



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