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HRANT, WE APOLOGIZE TO YOU AND THE ARMENIANS OF THIS COUNTRY

19 Jan 2009

Dear Friends!..
Friends of Hrant!

These lands have always been fed on deaths.
Haven’t we witnessed all this together?
They murdered our friends in coups, they hanged them.
I was a soldier when they murdered Mahir Cayan and hanged Deniz Gezmis.
They went on murdering the children of lightness and honesty.

I was at home when Hrant was shot. I was grief-stricken, I was shattered when I heard the news. Silently I got dressed and went out. I went to the Agos newspaper. I stared at the pavement from far away. I then approached where he had fallen quietly to put down my flowers. I didn’t want to share my grief with anyone. I didn’t want anyone to see me.
I went up the stairs like a sleepwalker. I looked around the rooms of Agos. I exchanged silent looks with those sitting there. Then I went down, walked through the crowd silently, headed back home.
My whole body was surrounded by grief.
What was this?
What?..
When the likes of Mahir and Deniz were murdered, I expressed my grief openly. I made phone calls, wrote letters. Yes, I was in agony. I revolted, too. But I shared all this with my friends.
Hrant’s death was something else. I fell silent. I didn’t speak a word to anyone. I was seized by a deep pang of conscience.

What was this deep grief…
What…
This was one injured conscience.
This was a historical shock of the conscience…
That is, Hrant’s big place in our lives.
My brother Hrant was the orphan child of an orphan people. And we lost that orphan child.

Yes,
Hrant was a native to this land. One of the owners. He surrounded people with warmth; he embraced them. He spoke from the inside, as one of us. His words appealed to hearts, emotions and minds.
He was sincere.
When they persecuted him for denigrating Turkishness, he said, “I never insult any nation or let anyone insult one. I don’t insult Turkishness. Nor do I let others insult Armenianness.”
See…

We now know about the notebooks of Talat Pasha…
From the written statement of the most liable name, we learn that one million Armenians were wiped out from the Ottoman lands as a result of the Forced Migration of 1915.
When Hrant said all this, he was attacked by racists and Ergenekonists. The Ergenekonists were ready during the trials he was brought to. They threatened him.
If we reached a certain point in the Ergenekon case, the reaction against his murder, as we now clearly see, has an effective role in this.

Yet…
It isn’t always easy to call the state officials that are liable to account.
The case is making slow progress.
We still have a long way to go to reach justice.
There are many invisible barriers to break down.
It is now more obvious to us that it was racist, nationalist army officers having staged coups in the past that killed Hrant or had him killed.

Dear Friends,
When he passed away, Hrant left the Agos newspaper to us…
If Agos lives, it will enable our friendship with Hrant to endure.

Dear Hrant,
You strived to bring to light the different cultures, the richness of our country.
You invited Anatolian Armenian musicians from all over the world here.
We first listened to Djivan Gasparyan’s duduk thanks to you.
You were the fellow traveler of the likes of Nazim Hikmet, Yilmaz Guney, Ahmet Kaya…
You were the voice of the other, the silenced, the subaltern, the forgotten…
Nevertheless,
Our sorrow and anger at your death finds no match on the balance of justice…
We are patiently following the case…

When I was running for Mayor of Beyoglu, I came to you to ask for the support of Istanbulite Armenians. Not only did you do your best, but also you told me about those Armenians who cultivated the land around the lake of Iznik, where I was raised, those who built schools, who used to live in the area for ages. I learned this fact which had thus far been a mystery to me and was very much impressed.
This was a major turning point in my life.
It was then clear to me that those who took you from us were the very people who couldn’t stand this fact to be told.
That they were obstacles to sincerity and openness.

Dearest brother!
We could not prevent the murder of January 19.

And now I apologize to you and the Armenians of this land. I invite those here today to apologize altogether.

Hrant, we apologize to you and the Armenians of this country.
We apologize.
We apologize.

Other Press Releases
WE DEMAND JUSTICE, ONCE AGAIN (Oct 13, 2008)
STOP PROTECTING THE PERPETRATORS TO LET JUSTICE BE OBTAINED (July 07, 2008)
FOR JUSTICE, WE ARE CURIOUS TO KNOW... (Apr 28, 2008)
OUR DEMAND IS SIMPLE... WE DEMAND JUSTICE (Feb 25, 2008)
FOR HRANT, FOR JUSTICE... ONCE AGAIN WE STAND FOR JUSTICE (Feb 11, 2008)
JUSTICE REQUIRES COURAGE (Jan 19, 2008)
RAKEL DINK'S ADDRESS TO THE COURT (July 02, 2007)
HOSROF DINK'S ADDRESS TO THE COURT (July 02, 2007)
BRIEFING ON HRANT DINK’S MURDER TRIAL PRIOR THE FIRST HEARING (June 30, 2007)