‘Ergenekon Avenue’ Should Be ‘Hrant Dink Street’


Feb 25 2010

When it comes to Turks and Armenians, the list of problems to be
resolved, confidence-building steps to be taken and gestures to be made
and received is long. The name of a street should not be among them.

As readers know, the Hurriyet Daily News has long supported
Turkish-Armenian reconciliation. We support the government’s initiative
to normalize relations with Armenia and hope it is not derailed by
either the nationalist-influenced Constitutional Court of Armenia or
the American Congress.

We support the steps the government has taken to enable the study of
the Armenian language in Turkish universities and broadcast in the
Armenian language on state radio. We applaud the news, reported in our
culture pages today, that state broadcaster TRT has made history with
the broadcast of a concert in the Armenian language. We have and do
support the many initiatives to restore Armenian churches in Turkey
and to find ways to educate the children of undocumented Armenian
workers in Turkey

We have also joined the criticism of the slow pace with which the
trial of those charged with the murder of our colleague, Hrant Dink,
has proceeded. Justice delayed is justice denied. Justice must prevail
in this and other cases of journalists and intellectuals who have
paid for their principles with their lives in Turkey.

We also realize that all of this is part and parcel of deep and
dramatic transformation in Turkish and Armenian societies. The
challenges are many and include the dichotomy between the pace of
changing positions in Turkey and Armenia and the pace with which
attitudes are changing in the diasporas of both peoples. There is much
that is complicated. Progress on all of these fronts will take time.

But changing the name of "Ergenekon Avenue" which transects the
district of KurtuluÅ~_ where many Turkish Armenians live, to "Hrant
Dink Street" should be quick and easy. The name, of course, preceded
the alleged gang now on trial and refers to a legendary mountain
in Central Asia that is part of Turkic history. So it is not as if
this involves a retreat from an honor bestowed on another important

But, as we reported yesterday, requests for this name change have
twice been rejected by municipal officials. An online petition seeking
the name change, at , has already collected
nearly 2,000 signatures. We believe the city should reconsider. This
would be a small but important monument to the memory of a man who did
so much to foster understanding. And it is a small step that would
certainly ease and enable the much larger diplomatic, political and
social leaps that we hope will follow.

It is time that "Ergenekon Avenue" be made an avenue or street
commemorating the life and work of journalist Hrant Dink. The
Å~^iÅ~_li municipality should embrace this project and get to work
on the new signs.


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